Sheol (שְׁאוֹל) & Fōr 7” Split - Tehom / Ginnungagap (2014)
Iron Bonehead Productions
Review by Trevor Proctor
If you haven’t heard of sepulchral death metal band Sheol (שְׁאוֹל) it’s about high time you did as to say they’ve had a hell of a year so far is an understatement. Since releasing their widely praised debut EP “Sepulchral Ruins Below the Temple” at the beginning of the year they’ve solidified their line-up with a new guitarist, played a number of live shows (including two in support of Incantation) and also entered the studio to record a track for this upcoming 7” split with Sweden’s Fōr. Details about Sweden’s Fōr (Proto-Germanic for Fire) are somewhat more limited - formed in 2013 they’ve so far released a demo entitled Kundaz and also an EP, Blakaz Askō Hertō, which was released in November 2013 via Iron Bonehead – identities of band members and their locations are currently unknown. The eye-catching cover artwork was designed by JDW Death my only Friend Artworks and late August sees the release of this essential 7”.
Sheol don’t mess about, launching straight into Phosphagous Amorpheon they bring us seven minutes of relentless, intense, sepulchral death metal; AHS’ vocal is recognisable from the first growl, authoritarian and distinctive there’s no missing his tone. Sheol is a band in its ascendancy and as a result have a subtle air of confidence surrounding them and you can feel this through their music – everything about it is well written and extremely well played, the drumming is exceptional as always and the track is also littered with superb solos that are now the product of two excellent guitarists.
It’s hard to fault Sheol’s contribution to this split, even though it wasn’t required the production has improved slightly and when we combine all these factors this becomes one of the best tracks they’ve written so far - in fact I’ll go as far as to say it’s as good of a death metal track you’ll hear this year.
To Envisage a Fuliginous Sun is Fōr’s track; their music has a much more oppressive and suffocating feel to it and is played at a crushingly torturous pace. Their doom-death generates pure death metal smog - intentionally oppressive and ominous, the music drains the very life from your soul and the word sinister doesn’t do it justice - the track slowly smothers you and pummels your spirit throughout its seven minute duration. Anyone who’s lucky enough to have heard “Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius” by Abyssal will love the music of Fōr and this track is easily strong enough to bring them many new fans.
Whilst both bands on the split are quite different in style the two tracks complement each other and work well together, there’s enough here to whet the appetite for both bands to make you go hunting for their previous releases - two brilliant tracks from two outstanding bands and yet another jewel in the crown of Iron Bonehead Productions.
1 - Sheol (שְׁאוֹל) - Phosphagous Amorpheon.
2 - Fōr - To Envisage a Fuliginous Sun.
שְׁאוֹל (Sheol - UK) / Fōr Split 7" is released by Iron Bonehead Productions on 22 August 2014. You can check out a sample of these evil sounds here.