I don’t want to kill myself by injecting a quart of patchouli-flavored essential oil into my carotid artery, but if I did, I would listen to Forbidding Mourning while I was doing it.
The metal detector had a hard time with this one. The album really is as good as everyone says it is. And in a sense, it’s reminiscent of Paradise Lost or Type O Negative at their best, playing goth metal with emphasis on the metal. But strings and piano and whispery vocals cloaked with diaphonous reverb lace the whole thing like threads of silk holding together an inky black suit of medieval armor with spikes on the elbows. Kristoff can correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure the medievals used straps of leather for that purpose.
At first, the metal detector was edging towards 2. But as the album progresses, and the silk threads keep spooling out, it becomes apparent that Fin’amor get their silk from a cathedral-sized spider goddess that spins her web across the road to perdition (the spider’s venom smells like patchouli in this metaphor — see above). The strings are there to create space for the slamming guitar riffs to die and be reborn heavier by a thousand fold. The transitions between Benjamin Meyerson’s softer and doomier voices are so seamless that each becomes a dark-winged harbinger of the other. Nodar Khutortsov‘s piano playing is so agile and up-front that it carries a lot of the weight that the lead guitar part would in other doom metal bands. And since the piano sounds different from the actual lead guitar, that means that with Fin’amor, you basically get two lead guitars at the same time. It wails, and it’s a 3.
When I say “piano,” I of course mean keyboards, though they are for the most part set to sound like an acoustic piano, or occasionally a harpsichord. Keyboards make sense, because Fin’amor are that kind of band. And everything about Forbidding Mourning is exactly the way it should be. But if there’s one thing I could have whenever Fin’amor get around to making another album, it would be for a real piano with real resonance, because if anyone can pull it off, it’s these guys. It would probably have to be a grand piano, and it would most likely turn Khutortsov into a skeleton with a violet-trimmed waistcoat and glowing red eyes while he’s playing it, because it’s that kind of piano.
Click here to check out Forbidding Mourning on Bandcamp, but wait for the sun to go down first.