Forebode

There’s No Escape from FOREBODE’s Pit of Suffering

Immaculate production howls underneath tightly-woven riffs. Fuzz-laden guitars keep time with plodding and full-bodied drums, creating tracks that are dark and heavy, yet still cozy in that uniquely doom and sludge metal way. The music’s density consumes you (not unlike the figure on the album cover). Like a black hole, it swallows you. 

Opener “Metal Slug” winds a path between groovy, mid paced riffs and slowed-down passages. Even at their slowest, the band’s sonic textures are mesmerizing. Death growls reverberate over  thunderous drums in “Devil’s Due,” before the guitar and bass return to rip the track into a gaping sonic chasm. The song eventually breaks down, leaving behind only a haunting, wailing, sparse guitar solo floating over the rubble, before resolving in a few measures of brooding, chugging sludginess.

The titular track begins with an intimate, semi-atmospheric interlude reminiscent of maudlin of the Well or Kayo Dot. Black metal-style vocals are shrieked over the most vast and cinematic song on the album as FOREBODE shifts into their lowest gear, pounding the listener with measured, low tempo riffage and calling back intermittently to the song’s intro. The guitar solo on this track soars, piercing through a low, sludgy foliage of sound lurking underneath. The song feels like a small odyssey, the listener swallowed by the tides of a thrashing and unforgiving sea towards the titular abyss. 

The fourth and final track provides a redemption of sorts (or at least a respite) rom that pit. The music rides high, faster-paced than the sprawling cut preceding it, with tinges of more traditional metal. This is until the halfway point, where the tempo picks up considerably, and a shift to tremolo picking gives the listener surprising flickers of black metal. With The Pit of Suffering, FOREBODE transport the listener to another, darker place in four cathartic tracks, free of the more tedious indulgences to which sludge metal is prone. It is a stick-to-your-ribs kind of release that should be a treat for any doom or sludge listener.

- Tín Rodriguez