By: Alex Phillips
In Kentucky, the black metal scene has grown into a thriving pustule on the edge of the Ohio River where the rust belt meets Appalachian coal country meets southern Bible belt. The scene’s bands, like Panopticon and Anagnorisis (both of which topped best-of lists in the past few years), have set a high standard even for old guard European black metal. It was inevitable that other Kentucky bands would rise up to spew the musical equivalent of black lung all over the world. Fornicus is leading the assault with a polished, yet raw-feeling album of black metal called Storming Heaven.
This album blazes like an inextinguishable coal fire and revels in unrepentant blasphemy. The opening track “We Are Sin” unleashses a blazing groove that sets you up for the brutality to come. “King of the Egoists” captures the spirit of black metal ferocity, spitting vile invective—“Fuck off, you Christian hypocrite . . . Fuck your beliefs and fuck your god”—perhaps in the direction of some local denomination. In tribute to black metal’s thrashier roots, the band performs an excellent cover of “Antichrist” from the 1985 Sepultura EP Bestial Devastation.
Fornicus, while not quite reaching the startlingly powerful levels achieved by their fellow Kentucky folk/black metal acts, have nonetheless produced in Storming Heaven an album worthy of a place in any demented metalhead’s collection. Check them out on their Bandcamp page, and get a taste of the Kentucky scene.