It would be very difficult to describe the attraction of FŌR’s new EP Blakaz Askǭ Hertô to anyone who is not already convinced about the power of blackened death metal and susceptible to the apocalyptic atmospherics that the style is capable of creating. It would be flat-out impossible to do that for anyone who is not already far along the left-hand path of extreme metal in general. Despite these challenges, I shall forge ahead.
Nothing played with a guitar and bass is truly devoid of melody — every string does represent a note. But FŌR have tuned the instruments so low, have so ramped up the distortion levels, and have made such abundant use of repeated tremolo-picked chords and feedback that what most people would call “melody” has been banished to some inaccessible netherworld. The songs are usually dominated by horrific grinding noise, occasionally segmented by massive hammering riffs that brutishly bludgeon like the ultimate hammer of doom.
The dense shroud of guitar and bass radioactivity is monolithic, impenetrable, suffocating, like a slow-moving mass of corrosive static. It’s a nearly relentless assault on the senses that reaches its apex in the 10-minute closing track “Lineage of the Amorphous”, in which one chord after another is struck in slow progression and the droning, fuzzed-out feedback just hangs there with the roentgen levels in the red zone until the the pick hand attacks again. Continue reading »