• The cover of . . . And Don’t Deliver Us From Evil

Since its founding in 1999, Italian band Forgotten Tomb has undergone pretty significant stylistic drift. Its music began as raw, grinding, depressive black metal grafted to the mournful melodies of funeral doom, but now it’s relatively upbeat, more like dark rock or even groove-based death metal—though from what I can decipher, the lyrics are still about pain, solitude, suicide, negativity, and nihilism.

I don’t think the shift in tone ought to surprise anyone, not coming from a group whose founding guitarist and front man, Ferdinando Marchisio, calls himself “Herr Morbid”—but maybe that stage name doesn’t sound as silly to Italians. At any rate, because I don’t have any special attachment to Forgotten Tomb’s early material, I’m unencumbered in this case by “the demo was better” syndrome and thus perfectly free to enjoy the borderline swaggering riffs in “Deprived,” the lead single from the new . . . And Don’t Deliver Us From Evil. I especially like the two beats of double kick drum every four bars right at the beginning—it was a good call to keep coming back to that—and the rapid chord changes in the bit that starts at 0:33, which I wouldn’t have expected from a band with such shrieky, blackened vocals. (Most black-metal musicians—hell, most musicians influenced by black metal—seem to prefer relatively stately harmonic motion.) I’m not sold on the acoustic lead guitars from 3:34 to 4:19, but at least they make it sound cooler when the song gets loud again. I think I’m gonna end up with that opening riff stuck in my head for days.

Don’t Deliver Us will be released November 6 in the U.S. via Agonia Records, but it can be preordered now. “Deprived” is streaming after the jump.