Having formed in 1995 and releasing their last album in 2012, it’s fair to say that Forgotten of Ankara, Turkey does things rather sporadically. Their past seems irrelevant to even bring up as their second full-length release, Of Past and Passion, has a different sound compared to their past efforts and features a completely new lineup aside from founding guitarist Tolga Otabatmaz. Fortunately, the album manages to be solid regardless of context.
Of Past and Passion offers an extremely melodic take on death/doom metal that’ll instantly remind listeners of Paradise Lost or Novembers Doom. The tempos are exclusively slow with often minimalist but solid drumming, the guitars consist of drawn-out chugs and mournful leads, and the vocals are a raspy yet legible death grunt that occasionally lapses into an almost whispered baritone. The guitars also aren’t afraid to dabble in softer excursions and piano completely takes over for the interlude “Remnants of a Faint Memory.”
There’s a sense, however, that the album would’ve benefitted from further development. With it featuring five tracks, two of which are entirely instrumental, its sense of scope makes it seem like more than an EP but feels rather imbalanced without another long-form track rounding things out. It doesn’t help that the songwriting doesn’t offer many hooks, further reinforcing the rather conventional presentation.
Fortunately, this is a pleasant album to listen to and there are some strong tracks here. While the phrasing on “The Serpent Once You Were” is rather bungled, the track itself is an agonizing exercise in slowness that plays out like a sister version of Paradise Lost’s “Beneath Broken Earth.” I can also get into the almost groove on “Blue Rain” and “Lethargic” is a solid instrumental, albeit one that probably could’ve been expanded to a “proper” track.
Overall, Forgotten’s second album is an enjoyable if by-the-numbers take on melodic death/doom. While it doesn’t feature the writing to make it a true standout, the songs are well put together and the performances are all on point. It feels like a debut album and one can only hope that the band will develop their sound in a timelier fashion. In the meantime, fans of groups like October Tide and Novembers Doom are sure to enjoy this.
“The Serpent Once You Were”