Fórn - EP (2013)


There is room for subtlety in music, and in particular, in many subgenres of metal. Some embrace it, and use it to their fullest advantage. But some bands, for better or worse, choose to throw caution to the wind and eliminate it. Fórn have no room, and certainly no need, for subtlety. Their black cloud of doom and sludge has no space left for a silver lining. Instead, they go all in on the heavy elements, and leave the delicate moments for someone else. But while many bands have tried this approach before, success is not a guarantee. You can't just slam on your instruments and expect the world to come knocking at your door; there has to be more to it than that. And this Boston based act, four pieces strong while the search for a new bass player continues, seems to have found the balance between massively heavy and technically sound. On their 2013 EP, they give us a two song taste of the future of Fórn, and the current state of metal music.

From the first distorted notes of "Coiled, Alone," the convulsive jet of sonic urine that comes from your speakers is enough to bring the hair on the back of your neck to a full salute. With each crushing guitar riff and every blood curdling scream and growl, they push you back forcibly into your seat, while withholding the death blow. Much like Churchburn, they allow their bass heavy chugging to speak for itself, without the need for widdling solos and harmonics. Even the crying of feedback that opens "Dasein" is as far off the beaten path as they will go. Devastation, though, is not experiencing a shortage, with each passage coming down like the hammer on an anvil. Instead of trying to add depth through poor production, they do it with dynamic playing and a distortion level that is sure to rattle a few windows. What's more, the band actually finds the fabled gray area between heaviness and groove, delivering a signature moment in the latter half that sees both come together beautifully.

It's hard to describe something that you can barely get your head around. But it just wouldn't be acceptable to write "I like it because I do," and call it a day. Fórn, for all their stripped down, no frills approach to sludge and doom, aren't doing something that just anyone can do. For an outsider, or the uninitiated, it all seems so simple; play low, play slow, play heavy. But making that work has proven to be the death of many a band before. Perhaps, like Fister, they succeed based on not only the notes they play, but the feeling it brings to a captive audience. It's one thing to be heavy, but it is another thing entirely to be scary. And in this style, one of the bleakest I've ever known, breeding fear in your fanbase is a sign of strength and a different kind of emotional response. There is no way to summarize the music of Fórn, at least not in language for pleasant company or children. But if a full length album should follow, we might be halfway done with the greatest horror movie score of all time.

8/10

Bandcamp - http://forn.bandcamp.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Forndoom