Welcome to the first (unofficial) language lesson here at Mister Growl. Today we’re learning a few words that will assist you with appreciating some of the grimmest doom in New England. When first seeing the band name Fórn I made the sort of gut-level assumption that at best leads to ridicule and at worst leads to fatal misunderstandings. I thought that Fórn was perhaps a Celtic word meaning “forlorn,” or some other somber adjective. It’s actually an Icelandic word referring to a ceremonial sacrifice, meaning that in very specific, dangerous company, I could have accidentally been part of a tragic Wicker Man-type situation. Basically what I’m trying to say is that Fórn almost killed me.
And that was even before it came to their music, which is lethal as well. This is the sort of pitch-black funeral sludge that feels like the natural extension of the earliest days of extreme metal tape-trading, where primeval growls and heaviness seemed like they contained the most evil forces from musical history contained in a disarmingly innocent-looking cassette. Fórn has fused the ugly ambience of those recordings (without mimicking the notoriously poor sound quality) with the blackened sludge of Grief and Cough.
This two-track debut EP begins with “Coiled, Alone,” a lurching horror film of a song that even invokes the macabre slow-motion death metal of Hooded Menace before spinning off into nightmarish soundscape territory, complete with a shrieking wall of atmospheric guitar feedback and background vocals that sound like someone’s skin is being peeled like a grapefruit. The EP’s closer, “Dasein,” is a 9+ minute slab of nastiness that surprises with some killer grooves that could fit in a Bongzilla song. For those curious linguists (like me), “dasein” is a German word used extensively in Martin Heidegger’s writings regarding existential philosophy, “dasein” refers to a German phrase that means “being there,” or in other words, existing in a human capacity. For those of you looking for our one degree of separation between Peter Sellers and Boston sludge, you just found it. If another lifeform visited Earth and found “Dasein” as the lone evidence of human existence, they would likely believe that humans were massive, horned, cannibalistic creatures that trolled around bleak wastelands sucking the dried eyeballs and tongues from the deceased. Fórn play riffs so heavy they feel like they can’t be lifted from the floor, much like bands such as Winter or Conan, but with barbarity rarely this visceral. I can’t wait to hear more from this quintet, despite the music sounding like a fitting soundtrack for the mass-feeding of Christian babies to a black-tongued swamp creature. Did I type despite? Who am I kidding, anyone who has read this blog more than once knows that Christian baby buffets are pretty much my main jam.
Check out this EP over at Fórn’s Bandcamp and order one of their beautiful tapes: http://forn.bandcamp.com/album/ep
And go follow them on Facebook for news on shows and future releases: https://www.facebook.com/Forndoom