On this site we always talk about how music can put you in a different frame of mind and how it can take you from your comfy couch to harrowing soundscapes, but with Gespenst they take that to a completely different level. They don’t just give you different soundscapes they submerge you in otherworldly soundscapes. The brand of metal that Gespenst plays is a cross between black metal, funeral doom with injections of dark ambient to create a sound that is devilish and wholly captivating. Forfald has four tracks which amass to forty minutes and within those forty minutes you become shrouded in abyssal darkness and filled with venomous metal.
There is no light to be seen within this release and there is no light at the end of it either. All throughout you succumb to the utter darkness that Gespenst provides for you as you get wrapped up int he mystical and intriguing sound that they put forth. The way in which each song is crafted is done very excellently and as each song thunders along you don’t know what to expect. Gespenst does a great job of balancing their blackened dirges with heart skewering funeral doom and they transition between the two very well without lurching or having one of the genres come to a screeching halt. The progression of each song-as well as the album-is very natural and nothing is forced and none of the four songs tries to do too much all at once.
With the three main components that Gespenst is working with not one takes precedence over the others. Gespenst works black metal, doom and dark ambient together very well to create a concoction that is mesmerizing and all encompassing. Everything comes together to provide you with a grand production of pure sinister darkness. Forfald sinks its hooks into you right from the beginning and as the release goes on you get dragged further and further into the abysmal darkness. The black metal, doom and ambient elements all come together to give you not only an otherworldly listen but a spectral one as well. Forfald is haunting and dark as though it was fermented in bitter darkness for years and is just now being unleashed upon the world.
Sinister guitar work pours through your speakers as Gespenst switches from calculated and cold riffs to apocalypse filled doom dirges and in the midst of the dissonant riffs, solid drumming, anvil heavy bass lines and blood curdling vocals you get those hints of dark ambient that drive this release deeper into the darkness. Each element that Gespenst injects into their music plays a role in creating a listen for you that is harrowing and all together soul banishing. Forfald is a hypnotic release to say the least that gets you to keep coming back for more and more.
Forfald is a strong debut and even that seems to be an understatement. Gespenst provides you with everything that you look for in black metal and doom alike. You get those harrowing atmospheres, earth scorching black metal, and weeping soul devouring funeral doom, and to couple that with great song writing and structure, what you get is Forfald. Forfald is a great record that you just can’t seem to peel yourself away from, and as soon as the first listen is over you feel the need to listen over and over again.