Album Review: Forgotten Tomb – We Owe You Nothing

By Ryan Falla

Italian black/sludge metal trio Forgotten Tomb brings us their 9th studio album, ‘We Owe You Nothing’, to add to a long-lived and consistent discography of fifteen years. Inside the package of this album is a brevity of thick, skull-pounding riffage and darkly engrossing atmosphere. This record is overwhelmingly powerful, almost abusive in how heavy it beats you over the head with concrete sludge.

One thing that really sticks out is how ‘We Owe You Nothing’ kicks off; there’s no introduction to the music, they simply drop you in the middle of an ongoing groove and set you off running. Given how infectious grooves tend to be, you should not be surprised at how fast this record sets it with the opening title track. It’s unrelenting, it’s driving, it’s badass; there’s no shortage of words to paint the picture of devastation introduced by Forgotten Tomb.

There’s a much stronger focus on the black metal elements that make up this record, so you can’t expect it to groove the whole way through. That’s not a problem, however, as Forgotten Tomb smoothens from the introductory groove into a more aggressive approach. It’s hard to describe Forgotten Tomb solely as sludge or stoner with their propensity to shift into the blacker realm of metal over the slow grind of doom.

The black metal presence with ‘We Owe You Nothing’ is smooth and fresh, they set up the record with sludgy tones and don’t stray too far from that sentiment. This allows Forgotten Tomb to create a fascinating approach to the mixture of sludge and black metal. Is the sludge forming a darker, more sinister black metal tone? Or is it the black metal that brings the sludge into rising form, like the Creature From the Black Lagoon on a fatal terror spree?

Forgotten Tomb refuses the standardization of their sound with the formation of two somewhat conflicting genres. There are snippets of elements from each genre that carry over into each other and Forgotten Tomb takes those elemental snippets and brings them together to create a defining piece of work with ‘We Owe You Nothing’.

Rating: 8/10

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Record Label: Agonia
Release Date: November 10th 2017

Track Listing:
1. We Owe You Nothing (7:31)
2. Second Chances (8:11)
3. Saboteur (6:38)
4. Abandon Everything (8:18)
5. Longing For Decay (6:36)
6. Black Overture (3:41)

Total Duration: 40:55

Forgotten Tomb links: facebook | instagram