Italian quartet Forgotten Tomb started off as one of the better depressive black metal bands in the scene with releases such as Springtime Depression and Songs to Leave, proof that soul-crushing music need not be buried under static and synthesizers. In 2011, the band signed to French label Agonia Records1 and released Under Saturn Retrograde, which demonstrated significant influences from straight alternative rock and doom metal. … And Don’t Deliver Us from Evil is the band’s second for Agonia and their seventh full-length release in a decade.
It has as much bite as one would expect with an album title like that, which sounds as if it were ripped from a high schooler’s desk scrawl three weeks after she discovered atheism on reddit. There’s no way that one can hear lyrics such as “fuck me like you’re fucking death itself” or “let’s nullify our place in this life” without laughing, which is all the more a travesty based on how seriously the band takes itself. Lead single “Deprived” is the most listenable song, with a genuinely arresting guitar lead that chugs along like an alt-rock single from the noughties. Ferdinando Marchisio has an excellent scream that is also very intelligible – an impressive feat for black metal, let alone a vocalist for whom English is not his first language. “Adrift” demonstrates his clean baritone, delivering defeatist lyrics such as “pills to ignore the pain / booze to numb the senses / smoke to fall asleep / I don’t fucking care I feel adrift” like a third-tier pop emo band from the genre’s heyday. It’s not poignant, just whiny.
The title track has a simple finger-tapped tremolo arpeggio that sounds rather good, but it does not carry for all seven-and-a-half minutes. “Let’s Torture Each Other” is a hackneyed ode to emotional pain, and it makes the fatal mistake of romanticizing flawed, self-destructive love. Again, the lyrics here are simply awful: “the angst keeps us alive / let’s torture each other […] we’ll share the nails for our crucifixion.” “Cold Summer” has an embarrassing couplet with “the swollen vagina of sickness opens / so inviting and warm, unveiling my call to perdition.” That’s just asinine. The instrumentation is on point in all songs – the band obviously know their instruments very, very well – but that does not equal engaging songwriting. Combined with the nigh-impeccable production quality that does not do this kind of extreme metal any favors, … And Don’t Deliver Us from Evil is sterile.
Other than “Deprived,” there is no reason to listen to this album. … And Don’t Deliver Us from Evil has banal songwriting and cringeworthy lyrics that are made all the more worse by how sincere the band tries to pull them off. “Everything deserves to be gone / I chose to run towards the end” … of this album, that is.
1. Deprived – (6:13) – ★★★☆☆
2. … And Don’t Deliver Us from Evil – (7:43) – ★★☆☆☆
3. Cold Summer – (8:33) – ★☆☆☆☆
4. Let’s Torture Each Other – (5:59) – ★☆☆☆☆
5. Love Me Like You’d Love the Death – (8:42) – ★★☆☆☆
6. Adrift – (7:46) – ★★☆☆☆
7. Nullifying Tomorrow – (7:32) – ★☆☆☆☆
1… whose diverse roster includes death metal act Centinex and sludge metal act Kongh.