January 10, 2015

Review - 'Garotting Deep / FŌR : Void Asceticism' Split LP

Garotting Deep / FŌR - Void Asceticism Split LP (2015)

Iron Bonehead Productions

Review by Trevor Proctor

With many excellent releases already in the pipeline 2015 is shaping up to be another highly significant and exciting year for underground death metal. A constant force within this underground is Iron Bonehead Productions which is due to bring us more quality music via a split LP from two very promising and up-coming black/death bands - Garotting Deep and FŌR.

Hailing from the West of Canada, Garotting Deep was formed in 2010 and released a demo during the same year. Since then they have released a split cassette along with Ominosity and a 12” split which they shared with Hlaut - both of which were released in 2013. 

Sweden’s FŌR (proto-Germanic for fire) was formed in 2013 and released the excellent Kundaz demo via Ceremonial Void. This was followed by their debut EP, Blakaz Askō Hertō, which was released by Iron Bonehead Productions in November 2013. In 2014 they released a split 7” along with one of the UK’s best death metal bands, Sheol (שְׁאוֹל) - this was an absolute belter of a release and topped my year-end list of EP, demo and 7” releases. Anticipation around Void Asceticism has been building significantly since Garotting Deep’s announcement via Facebook on the 12th of October. At this stage they unveiled details about the recording and also revealed the album’s stunning artwork which is the fantastic creation of Luciana Nedelea, an artist whose incredible art is synonymous with metal’s underground.

This is a typical split release as each band occupies a side with three tracks each - Garotting Deep feature on side A and get things off to a flying start with Barrows of Moss. The quiet intro with various effects and bird calls belies the brutality to come. Garotting Deep’s music is a very upfront no-nonsense attack on the eardrums, fast, heavy death metal with occasional punk elements and plenty of life and spirit. Track two Garotting Deep follows with a similar approach to the opener, though they make an interesting choice with their third track, a cover of Wardruna’s Heimta Thurs. Despite being a minute shorter than the original it’s a cover that musically remains quite faithful to the original, albeit with Garotting’s vocal style making it a slightly more hostile affair. 

What I love most about splits is they occasionally introduce you to bands you’ve heard very little of in the past and that’s the beauty of this little belter. This is the first of Garrotting Deep’s music I’ve listened to and am chuffed to bits that I did, I’ll most definitely be keeping my ear to the ground for future releases whilst also digging out their previous music.

FŌR’s music is a different entity altogether, it’s a thick, oppressive, menacing musical fog that will surround and smother you from start to finish, dauntingly slow yet very, very heavy. FŌR use the opening minutes of Behexed by Mortuary Chants to envelop the listener, darkening the atmosphere and keeping you on edge by occasionally snapping into much faster, all-out assaults. 

This is music of the highest standard that’s ominous and punishing in equal measure – its lurching nature sucks you in piece by piece whilst the faster, heavier sections take over and beat you and your eardrums senseless. FŌR are very clever with their compositional approach and have created all-consuming music from beginning to end that takes command of the sense. I was already impressed with their music but with this FŌR have taken things to a further level.

Stunning output from both bands, this is essential listening. 


A1 - Garotting Deep – A Barrows of Moss
A2 - Garotting Deep - Garotting Deep
A3 - Garotting Deep – Heimta Thurs

B1 - FŌR – Behexed by Mortuary Chants
B2 - FŌR – Spraekjo
B3 - FŌR – Nectars of Serpents

Garotting Deep / FŌR - Void Asceticism Split LP is released by Iron Bonehead Productions on 16th January 2015

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