Forgotten Horror – Aeon Of The Shadow Goddess (2015) – Finnish black metallers Forgotten Horror got my attention on the first listen and that first listen was their debut, The Serpent Creation back in 2011. It received extremely high praise and I played it quite a bit, so that should automatically tell you my stance on the recording.
Aeon Of The Shadow Goddess however, held within it something I hold very dear as a human being which is an adherence to Lilith. Now, this seems to lyrically tie very thickly with Thomas Karlsson’s Order Of The Dragon Rouge by which he penned a book on the subject. (For more information on the album’s content, please visit www.forgottenhorror.com) But as for the musical portion of the disc, we can expect a very heavy slathering of black metal along with a rather melodic sense quite similar to a mixture of Dissection and latter era Rotting Christ with a little bit of Melechesh thrown in for good measure. Even choirs appear at places on the album, making for a rather deep and ritualistic mound of heaviness that doesn’t cease to dazzle with moments of beauty as well as carnage. In all honesty, it is so difficult to explain this album because I feel I’m enjoying it far too much.
You see, the drum work on the record is literally amazing, which really seems to set off certain sections and cause literal explosions throughout the piece. The vocal work on the record is also extremely pleasant and passionate to my ears – I can feel this just as much as I felt Nodtveidt’s potent scowls on Reinkaos, though I think that the vocal performance featured on Aeon Of The Shadow Goddess is even stronger. As I’ve said, the riffs definitely feel Egyptian in tone and feel like metallic interpretations of traditional hymns to the dark mother. As I said, this record seems to connect with me at a personal level and I can truly feel and understand the passages being utilized here. That’s a very rare occurrence, even for the old days of The Grim Tower. As a matter of fact, I’ve never felt such a connection to a record like this since Reinkaos, which was only a couple of songs at best. Yet with Aeon Of The Shadow Goddess, it’s more than just heavy metal to me.
This feels like an extremely powerful adoration to the very archetype of darkness and beauty. With songs like “Behold A Shadow Goddess”, “Lilithian”, “Queen Of An Ivory Moon” and “Her Crescent Horns” you can pretty much understand why I feel the way I do about this album. I’m usually not very biased towards albums, but for some odd reason this one’s a little different. But I will say this. If the album hadn’t been quite as potent or as animalistically passionate as the unreal performance that I’m hearing here, then I would’ve been profoundly upset. But seeing as I quite enjoyed The Serpent Creation, I expected only the best of expectations from this record, which is what I received in the end.
By the end of this review, I will have listened to this masterpiece for a second time, which just goes to show you how much I respected the amount of time and effort put in. There’s really no other way to describe an album where every song takes a hold of you and offers a new approach each time, as nothing more than a stroke of genius.
I do not believe I will hear a better black metal record than this one for the rest of the year and it’ll definitely be one of my favorite moments in the genre’s history. These Finns drew from only the very best of influences and wound up with something that topples over the competition completely. As far as the genre of black metal is concerned, Aeon Of The Shadow Goddess is my black metal album of the year and I’ll be playing it for several years to come. I knew there was something about this record from my first overview of it, and it would seem that I’m right. The Grim Tower highly recommends this stupendous sophomore record from Forgotten Horror and we are certain that you’ll play it for several years to come. Congratulations gentlemen, you may have very well made history.
(9 Tracks, 45:00)