The Answer Lies in the Black Void – Forlorn

This duo formed by Hungarian Martina Horváth and Dutchman Jason Köhnen makes its debut recording. If such a configuration in the doom field is normally suggestive of a form of gothic with persuasive and feminine vocals, The Answer Lies in the Black Void go well beyond these stylistic elements by offering a sound that is rather hostile and mostly lacking in melodic solutions that are usable at first impact. Martina is a versatile singer who prefers dark and insinuating tones, although she has an uncommon timbre even when she pushes herself on more experimental shores. Defining these sounds as a doom version of the early Dead Can Dance might seem risky, but it’s one of the first things that came to my mind, not only because of the frequent use of vocals in place of actual lyrics, which are the equivalent, if we look closely, of the non-language with which Gerrard has always expressed herself. Here the progression is mostly dark and mournful, and it is also well represented by four videos, shot respectively for Okkultas, Become Undone, Mina and For Nevermore, all of them aiming at visually exalting a gothic side that is not so pronounced under the sonic aspect. Forlorn is an album that could struggle to reach a well-defined range of users, because it must be listened to many times before being wrapped and enchanted by the voice of the fascinating Martina, to which the excellent Jason, one of the founders of the seminal Celestial Season, provides an instrumental support, mostly rarefied and refined traits but without any particular forcing, definable in all respects doom metal although offered in a form far from obvious. Those who are willing and patient will find references that include even Diamada Galas’ less avant-garde ideas; Forlorn is a work in its own way disorienting but with an enormous artistic depth.

2021 – Burning World Records