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Tortorum - Rotten. Dead. Forgotten.

Rotten. Dead. Forgotten.
by Garrett Davis at 17 March 2017, 9:42 AM

Norwegian Black Metal group TORTORUM have returned after their last album “Katabasis”. Following the amiable departure of their former drummer Dirge Rep the remaining three members decided to go at a slower pace with “Rotten. Dead. Forgotten” - a hideously dark and brooding EP. TORTORUM are as methodical and certain as the impending spectre of death itself. At times they speed things up to a breakneck pace but usually take their time with a nihilistic grace that speaks to their Black Metal philosophy.

First track of “Rotten. Dead. Forgotten.” is “Ioa ai”, which is agonisingly slow and melancholic. As a short instrumental piece it works to set the unforgiving, grave tone of the EP. “All Suns Black” kicks the door in; gritty and savage, dismal and expressive, it’s not a bad track but it isn’t my favourite on the album.“Night of the Witch” is grim as a midnight funeral (gritty, dank, and haunting) with constant guitars riffing in the background, underlining the other players while slowly cranking the dial up a notch at a time. The vocals are so grave that they made my throat hurt just listening to them.

Life is the Enemy” starts at a whiplash-inducing speed, keeping nothing in reserve but storming forward to shatter your eardrums. “Lucifer Victrix” is presumably named for the lord of darkness himself, and befitting a song titled after the devil, it is a pitch-black abyss of despair and hatred. The vocals are like agonised shrieks of misery, pushed out from the raw throats of damned souls. Slow, sludge-like guitars drag you along to the darkest pits of despair. “Black Mantra Mysteries” cranks the dial all the way back up after a short reprieve, maintaining a sense of dread without resorting to ear-bleeding volumes to get their point across. Restrained growls, muffled staccato drumming caress the morose lyrics and bring you ever closer to the bleakness of human mortality.

Atmospheric and grim, “Rotten. Dead. Forgotten” is a title that perfectly sums up the impression that I got from the album. Like an army of undead marching ever onwards, TORTORUM drive forward always seeking out the next bit of dankness that they can ooze out of their instruments. Ending on a beautifully sad note fading into oblivion, fans of Black Metal should find another gem here. Check out the link to give a listen to “Lucifer Vitrix” for a good mixture of the band’s range and talent. Available through Bandcamp, don’t go another day without being “Rotten. Dead. Forgotten”.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

  1. Ioa Ai
  2. All Suns Black
  3. Night of the Watch
  4. Life is the Enemy
  5. Lucifer Victrix
  6. Black Mantra Mysteries
Barghest - Bass, Vocals
Skyygen - Guitar
Specter - Guitar
Record Label: World Terror Committee


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