The Answer Lies In The Black Void - Forlorn

30 Dec 2021 - Thorsten

Doom | Burning World Records | Release date: 24 Sep 2021 | Favorite song: For Nevermore

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The Gathering, for many people, are the first thing that comes to mind when being asked about a (Dutch) doom band with female lead vocals. Now we might have another one with the next enchanting 2021 release by Jason Köhnen, who once proves to be a wizard of many trades as he and his partner Martina Horváth release another collaboration – this time under the telling moniker The Answer Lies In The Black Void.

The two already released records together as Mansur (which we also reviewed here) and Jason has again been highly productive in 2021 with many amazing records (the last one was The Lovecraft Sextet’s debut record, find the review here). This is another part of his personality, checking back with his work in another Dutch doom institution – Celestial Season. And this record in itself spans so many sides of doom that is could be called a “compendium”. We have some industrial influences, some very gothic elements and also some black metal-inspired moments – and above all the voice of Martina which is the basis for the comparison made in the very first sentence.

At first, one might have the impression to listen to a more mature, more controlled version of Evanescence’ Amy Lee but song by song we become aware that Anneke van Giersbergen must have be the best comparison also because of the way her voice towers over the song unlike being a driving force behind them. The records best to compare Forlorn to are Mandylion and If Then Else even if the latter ranks not too high among many The Gathering-fans. However, the industrial elements on that record can also be traced on Forlorn and when we then hear how Martina’s voice rises from the foundation of said industrial doom one cannot but think of If Then Else - just listen to ”Moult” and the shifty industrial-like synths underneath it.

On the other hand, this record has got so much soul, so much dark gothic parts that it might seem to hurt. Listen to ”Barren” and tell me, that it doesn’t give you the shivers. Or the wonderful combination of the near-vanished instrumentation during the vocal-passage in the middle of ”Curse”. ”Okkultas” starts with some string passages which are then also repeated throughout the track and they seem to combine doom with Arabic music (at least in some of the sounds).

That ”Become Undone” is like a meeting of free jazz (those horn elements) and black metal (the blastbeat attacks from the drums) with lots of seemingly dissonant elements makes totally sense when one thinks of the fact that Jason and Martina seem to try to give us as many sides of doom as possible.

As one might have seen – the record leaves an indisputable imprint if given time to really listen to, because then one can also find the awesome quote from The Raven on the record. Who would fit better to a doom-record than Edgar Allan Poe? No one, well, maybe Anneke van Giersbergen. Or Martina Horváth and Jason Köhnen. Forlorn is definitely an important classical, multi-faceted doom record!

And here you can find the video for “Mina”: