Hailing from the forever-thriving Finnish black metal underground, FÖRGJORD is one of that scene’s stranger and more unique entities. Existing since the mid ’90s, the trio have largely shied away from the spotlight – even when that spotlight is blacklit and dim – and patiently parcel out their releases, with a sparse-yet-solid discography to date. Uhripuu – their third album, released to critical acclaim in 2017 by WEREWOLF RECORDS – crystalized the idiosyncratic FÖRGJORD aesthetic, and surprise of all surprises, the band are back but two years later with their fourth full-length, Ilmestykset.
Translating in English to “Revelations,” Ilmestykset is loosely based on the revelations of Maria Åkerblom, leader of the Finnish Åkerblom Movement, who deemed the “sleeping preacher” a prophet. Fittingly, FÖRGJORD here take their scabrous ‘n’ unorthodox black metal to its most rotten yet perversely listenable depths. With haunting organ to the fore, the trio’s foremost trait – malodorous melodicism, the likes of which is just as hypnotic as the trances into which the album’s thematic namesake fell – takes on an air of both triumph and tragedy. Bewitching with unsettling ease, the way FÖRGJORD’s characteristically oddly hummable passages push past the ripped-raw soundfield and create a wild, entrancing disconnect ties in perfectly with the album’s evocations: death and what lies after it, tragic happenings, old traditions, and visions of end of the world. Indeed exhibiting the dark side of the Finnish mentality, it is this aspect which fondly reminds of France’s Black Legions, the eternal struggle between trance and trash, but naturally, that distinctly Finnish air of melancholy permeates the mildewed black metal at hand. One could even say that Ilmestykset is the sound of FÖRGJORD at their most undeniably epic.
Exceedingly and proudly homemade, this is the strangely alluring sound of The Other Side. Peer deeply into FÖRGJORD’s Ilmestykset and become
Werewolf Records (Finland), 2019.