Show Review: Fórn at Middle East Club in Boston, MA

Funeral sludge metal is a term not applicable to the largest swath of musicians. FÓRN are one of them, however—a band that has been known to perform in the damp, dank setting of a cave.

It has been some years since funeral sludge metal band FÓRN had a proper tour. However, their debut album The Departure of Consciousness was released a decade ago. This is proper reason to get back on the road for a coast to coast tour—especially as the album has been re-pressed on gorgeous grape and sky blue vinyl through Persistent Vision Records. We caught their first grumbling set of the tour at the Middle East Club in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Walking through the arched entryway of the venue, low-crackled chords groaned from Joey Gonzalez’ guitar. The stage was bleakly lit. Appropriate. Stretched-out vocals began to hover overtop from Chris Pinto. It was good to hear this in action after Pinto once described in this publication his process to this skill. In the “Yoga Punks” article he noted that, “(Yoga) helped me write lyrics. I learned techniques that I’ve applied to doing vocals, mostly breathing techniques that help me figure out different vocal patterns.” There certainly is a meditative quality to the pacing. The audience moved in a smooth cadence to the rhythm, a very present interaction with the music.

Pinto crouched in front of the bass kick between a couple of tracks, a pause that felt regenerative and made for a powerful visual, like the metal equivalent of a Rodin sculpture. Similarly, between songs, instrumental interludes breathed ambient, cinematic mood. It was reminiscent to what Trent Reznor or Hans Zimmer might apply with a film score. Gonzalez alluded to these soundscapes being experimentation that will appear as part of their new record this fall and likely on additional future releases.

Lesser Glow performed just before FÓRN, though they did ironically have more light on the stage. The Boston metal quintet brought a sonic aesthetic that camped them closer to Slayer. With singer Alec Rodriguez pushing his vocal range from melodic to a metastasized layer of growls, their set was a push and pull of energies. The band followed suit with rapid speed of instrumentation that could just as quickly be followed by chords that ring out for 10 seconds alone.

Luci Dead Limb opened the evening and is a project of music/art from Lux Licidi of Berkley, MA.





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