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Friday, August 25, 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Overoth rise to new heights on The Forgotten Tome

FOR some time now Overoth have been one of the leading exponents of the extreme end of metal's spectrum, but have largely been plying their wares on stage since their d├ębut album 'Kingdom of Shadows' was released.

The atmospheric, intense live performances have all had a hallmarks of a band confident of their abilities, but c'mon we need new product! And, thus after an extended period of thinking about how to take their sound to the next level the band will release 'The Forgotten Tome' on September 22nd.

And, when you wrap your warped lugholes around this album you will agree that the wait has been more than worthwhile.

It is nine tracks (plus the orchestral opener) that have a purity of malice amidst the astonishing arrangements. The addition of more and more elements can sometimes overwhelm a band's sound Overoth have manage to incorporate them all in a consolidated vision.

From the insistent riffing of 'Winter of Iniquity' and Andy's primal roars throughout you'll find subtleties aplenty on multiple listens. Whether it be the piano outro of 'Sigil of the Empty Throne' or a sudden discovery of a violin this is an album demanding your attention.

Some of the passages on the title track are astonishingly good, 'Harbinger Of The End Times' will snap necks and 'Leviathan Swallowed The Sun' is so achingly good, from the Gregorian chanting intro to the menace of the tracks multi-instrumental passage.

To segue into 'Mar The Gates' is a shock to the senses, something well considered on the album's overall scheme.

It was a risky manoeuvre to try to add so many elements - including obscure instruments such as the ney flute - but the result is that 'The Forgotten Tome' is a well rounded release.

It is not disparate in its deathly approach, and Joe Thompson's production and Mike Hourihan's mix manage that delicate balance between a wall of sound and sufficient separation.

Fantastical, allegorical references abound in the lyrics; and like all good fantasy works they are the vehicle to ponder the frailty and failings of humanity and the evil and good that can emerge.

Complimented by Will Simpson's impressive artwork this is a release that will live long in the memory and is deserved of repeated plays.

That it only clocks in at 40 minutes is the only disappointment - a few more tracks would have been welcome, but after the wait for this we can forgive Overoth.

Review by Jonathan Traynor

The Forgotten Tome is released on Hostile Media on September 22nd

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