FŌR - Blakaz Askǭ Hertô (2013)
Iron Bonehead Productions
Review by Jude Felton
Image and genre are two areas that all bands fall into, whether they like it or not. Even those so-called mysterious bands that never fully reveal themselves in photographs have an image. As soon as the camera clicks, or an interview is given, an image will be formed and opinions made. There’s nothing wrong with that, at all, as the only way to be completely devoid of any sort of image or pigeon-holing is to not actually release or do anything, which defeats the purpose of everything.
This, loosely, brings me around to FŌR, a band of which I personally know very little about, although more than you think, and it’s a blessing to say the least. I’ve yet to see pictures of the band, any genre labeling I have seen, from the band itself, is fairly vague, and it’s only really the band logo that really give any hints, and even then that is deceptive.
Self-described as “cryptic, cavernous, death”, they couldn’t really be any closer to the truth. Blakaz Askǭ Hertô opens with almost three minutes of pain and suffering, with the title track; an almost dirge-like excursion into hell. From here on in it only gets darker, as the low-as-fuck guitar sound forge forward on the fine line between music and pain.
When it comes to the vocals, it’s as if they are calling up from the very depths of the bottomless chasm that his EP was no doubt recorded in. And, it all works perfectly. Some bands hone an image of darkness and how damned evil they are, and then you see them plastered on magazine covers, with each pose carefully choreographed. That’s absolutely grand; I understand that some bands make a living from their craft and more power to them. With FŌR, and Blakaz Askǭ Hertô, it truly does sound evil; it will make you feel uncomfortable.
There are five tracks here, including the extended intro/title track, and not once does the menace let up. Blackened death with elements of doom and industrial dirges, drag the listener to places they might not want to visit. This EP will certainly confuse some and scare others, the rest of us? Hell, we’ll buckle up for the ride and revel in its malicious impurity.
Am I overselling this? Maybe I am, but then I don’t have the benefit of corpse paint or stage blood to accompany my point. Instead, my filthy friends, I just have the music, and that is quite simply superb.
1. Blakaz Askǭ Hertô
2. The Ravenous Chasm
3. Descending Obfuscated Realms
4. Chthonian Initiation
5. Lineage of the Amorphous
Blakaz Askǭ Hertô is available on download from Iron Bonehead Productions, with a vinyl release set for November.