Finnish black metal is not as well known as the Norwegian counterpart, but living in Finland I can tell you it is just as serious, if not more so, and the metalheads here hold a great respect for their underground scene. Förgjord’s third record, Uhripuu, is being released on Werewolf Records. The title is translated as “Sacrificial Tree.”
Werewolf Records call themselves a “Luciferian metal temple” founded 18 years ago. I’ll let you hear it from them directly:
In this age when black metal’s worth is questionable, idealism and rigor are the exception when they should be the highest law. We uphold the law of the Wolf – the destruction of the weak and the false so that the original vitality of the dark magic art can continue to grow and create the foundations for an empire. Black metal is Will and Power.
They go on to talk about waging their war farther and wider than ever with no spiritual surrender. It certainly gives the impression that the label would only select the most credible black metal bands to represent their agenda. After listening to this album, I think that is the case.
Förgjord’s record is actually quite good and while subscribing to some of the standards you expect from black metal quality, especially when your label is focused on credibility in the scene, the album sounds exactly how you would hope. There is a wall of sound that smashes through some super-aggressive parts and then some grooves that hit you the right way.
Lyrically, I have no fucking clue what is going on, but the presentation is fantastic. I can’t tell if it is a man or a demon speaking to us, and I’m sure that’s exactly what Förgjord are hoping for. It’s particularly evil in all the right ways.
The musicianship on this record is surprisingly good. There is more going on than you might expect. There are some hidden melodies and grooves happening that make me really want to see these guys perform live. I think the best part, from my perspective, is the overall feeling of the songs. You get the point without understanding the lyrics. There is pain, there is evil, and there is a hint of that Finnish sound.
Standout tracks for me are “Täyttymys” and “Ovat Korpit Pois Lentäneet,” and “Vahvempi Kuin Koskaan” might be one of my favorite black metal songs in a long time.
Förgjor‘s Uhripuu will be released on March 10 on Werewolf Records in association with Hell’s Headbangers. Buy it here!