Forgotten Tomb - Under Saturn Retrograde review


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Band: Forgotten Tomb
Album: Under Saturn Retrograde
Release date: April 2011

01. Reject Existence
02. Shutter
03. Downlift
04. I Wanna Be Your Dog [The Stooges cover]
05. Joyless
06. Under Saturn Retrograde Part I
07. Under Saturn Retrograde Part II
08. You Can't Kill Who's Already Dead
09. Spectres Over Venice

Boom boom, piñata! Four years after Negative Megalomania we've got visitors again! Forgotten Tomb are here once again with Under Saturn Retrograde being the fifth part of their legacy to date and for the first time we can see some color on the cover artwork! The black n' white era is over and a septic yellow/brown portrait having its origins in Asian horror films has taken its place. Well, don't tell me that the girl in the cover doesn't look like Sadako?!

The Katatonia references are still here, they couldn't be missing, after all they are part of Forgotten Tomb's sound "personality", they never were that personal anyway. But, they made some fabulous doom/black metal releases filled with intensity and all the negative emotions that start with "d". This time they present a more rocking attitude, tones of melody compared to their previous releases and some kind of castrated artifact of what they used to be. Could this be bad? If you're searching for another Songs To Leave or Springtime Depression, then yes, it probably won't please you enough. The tormented days are over and the band tends to give a more melancholic vibe in their music, with some hallucinating harmony and a will to enjoy their sadness through the more rocking attitude that I already mentioned. The cover on the famous Stooges tune "I Wanna Be Your Dog" says it all. I know, it's been covered a thousand times before, so another one wouldn't hurt. Early Forgotten Tomb hurts, this one doesn't.

If you're a Paradise Lost fan you will also witness here and there some riffs that refer to the Shadowkings through the whole duration of the album. But this isn't the only reference to the aforementioned pioneers of the gothic metal scene, the not so many but apparent clean vocals have a Nick Holmes essence, without his renowned hoarse edge though. As for the rest, the guitars due to their more melodic aura or more upbeat attitude evoke the predictable ambiance, well-accompanied by the rhythm section. But still, they couldn't leave behind totally their dissonant accent, which is good. And last but not least, Herr Morbid's howls are still in good shape and depict properly the band's intentions in terms of interpreting, after all he's the soul of the band.

Concluding, Under Saturn Retrograde is a pretty solid and good release for what it is. The rest lies in your own personal ambitions of what to expect from the band in 2011, a band whose members have been together for quite a long time and work well as a vehicle.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Production: 9


Written on 16.05.2011 by "It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."


Comments: 4   Visited by: 219 users
16.05.2011 - 01:36
Troy Killjoy
This album totally took me by surprise. I felt like this was far less "doomy" and way more straightforward in terms of melodic black metal; it's a welcome change, especially since the subtle - but still present - depressive atmosphere strengthens the songwriting.

I wouldn't be surprised if next time around they branch into more gothic metal territory. Forgotten Tomb may altogether abandon the black/doom style and aim for "more accessible" forms of grief.
Prettier than BloodTears.
16.05.2011 - 07:55
Doom Knight
Yeah that black/doom sound is becoming less prominent with each release. This album is pretty much black/rock.

Although i find this album lacking in originality & wish they had kept to their earlier style, i really enjoyed it. Some of the songs are catchy as hell, especially 'Downlift' & the stooges cover of 'I Wanna Be Your Dog'.
"FUCK!!! You're the fucking 5th person asking me in an interview about the woman in the bathtub…The problem is that I AM the fucking person in the bathtub, and I AM a fucking MAN, for fuck's sake! I hate you all!" ~ Herr Morbid
16.05.2011 - 12:29
Well , i dont hear this album. But i think their music very good , and i hove that i have some feeling emo when hear this album.
I heard new album of Lifelover , kk. This album is awesome.
16.05.2011 - 14:55
I think they're going to follow the path Darkthrone have already taken... honestly I do NOT like this new FT's version, always preferred the real black/doom period, this trying to be more appealing does not suit my likes. At all.

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