Forgotten Tomb - Springtime Depression review
03. Daylight Obsession
04. Springtime Depression
05. Colourless Despondency
06. Subway Apathy
The extreme side of Italian metal seems alive and well. 2003 has been the year of Forgotten Tomb, who released their second full-length album. Most of extreme Italian bands, even if they don't really play the same style, have in common a certain depressive side, and a unusual approach of the songwriting, in the sense that their compositions are full of breaks, rhythm changes and lethal accelerations. Forgotten Tomb does not depart from this fact.
What strikes first in 'Springtime Depression' is the contrast between the relative calmness of the music and the harshness of the vocals. The band is supposed to be playing Depressive Black/Doom. The Black metal side is meant for the coldness of the production (usually this is not something I like but here it is really on purpose and emphasizes the disturbing impression of the music itself, a bit like Opeth on 'My arms, Your hearse'). Besides, the crude and grim sound is their leitmotiv, as written on the promo package. But the good point is that this almost live sound, with lots of echoes, does not reach the die-hardness of so-called 'true black-metal' works. The other black-metal element here is definitely the vocals. Herr Morbid screams, not in the typical manner of black-metallists, but more in the same tune as Mikael Akerfeldt from Opeth on the first three albums, which means the vocals are not really strident.
The music, on the other side, is relatively calm. The sounding is really weird, the riffs are heavy, grim, and almost tend to give an atmosphere of desperation that is typically doom. My Dying Bride and Katatonia in the early days would not have denied this. The only song on which the music is really violent and headbanging is 'Daylight Obsession', a speed black metal song with a wonderful charley passage at the end of it. But the one that symbolizes best this doom side of Forgotten Tomb is the instrumental track 'Springtime Depression', with its repeating single slow and dark almost acoustic riff. This one is really suicidal, but I reproach its length: it's a bit too much, and in the end it becomes boring.'Colourless Despondency', brings out the same kind of music as the first two songs, with this heavy riff, the double bass-drum in the back, and the dissonant chord of the guitar. The last song 'Subway Apathy, takes again the riff of 'Springtime Depression' and appropriates it to make a really heavy song, and a killer one.
So in the end, the fact that the production is really cold, even if it is part of the concept of this suicidal and desperate album, makes that 'Springtime Depression is not easily accessible. But take the time to let the music surround you, let yourself immerse in it, and you will soon drown in the gloominess of eternal winter.
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