Stream & Interview: Fórn – ‘Cosmic Desolation’

Photo: Katia Sukhotskaya

Death is just one of those things you can’t get out of. Unless there was a major scientific breakthrough this morning, death is one of the few shared experiences all living things will share. If you think that’s a heavy topic, get ready to talk about Fórn. The Boston (by way of New York City by way of Oakland) doom merchants specialize in dark, crushing doom, like the latest offering from their upcoming Rites of Despair album, “Cosmic Desolation.”

“Cosmic Desolation” combines crawling funeral doom with mournful melodies and vocals that sound as if they’re conjured from a place of exhaustion and sheer despair. In other words, Fórn could nicely fill that hole in your record collection between Evoken and Frowning.

Decibel spoke with Fórn about Rites of Despair and “Cosmic Desolation.” Stream the song below and then read the interview. The album is out on September 21 via Gilead Media.

Rites of Despair is your first release since 2016. What’s new in the band since then?
Loss & life, success & failure, a persistent state of anxiety towards existence in a world where existence is unaffected by your meaningless placement in it. In a single word: nothing.What are some of the themes and ideas you had in mind and wrote about on this album? Where they inspired by events in your lives?
As with any person existing in the modern age who is aware of any semblance of current events (which, if you’re somehow blissfully unaware of, we commend you and praise your dedication to unplugging) – the constant crushing weight of world-weariness is an exceptional pressure that factors into the mental well-being of any person across the globe. Socio-economic disasters, the consistent executions of the human race performed by the police state, the brainwashing of culture through social media and “news” outlets, political administrations that are made out to be the “most evil of them all” when in reality are just furthering the same top-tier agendas of every past administration regardless of constitutional leaning; not to mention mankind’s role in the climate destruction of this very world.

This negative pressure of existence factors into our group mentality and affects our musical outcome on a deeply conceptual level. We have explored these concepts of world-weariness with our past releases and continue further down the rabbit hole on Rites of Despair by partitioning into two themes: Act I: Depersonalization & Act II: Derealization. The feeling of detachment of the self & the resulting perceptional altering with ones worldview. The questioning of existence as a concept vs. existence as a crushing reality.When the soul-crushing weight of the world’s negative influences proves too much to bear, one begins to feel their sense of self dissolve, completely losing any resemblance of the person they thought they had become throughout their life. They start to feel completely alien and alone within this plane of existence. Depersonalization. Slowly, once they have dissolved into this state of mental nothingness, one begins to feel that nothing at all in this world is real, all is merely an experiment. Everything they have known, everything they have loved, every social cue they have learned is obsolete. Derealization.

Rather than label these concepts of the mind state as disorders or conditions, might they hold the key to unlocking a higher state of mental consciousness?

The song we’re premiering today is called ‘Cosmic Desolation.’ What is the song about? What was the process of writing it like? When listeners hear “Cosmic Desolation,” what should they know or think about?
Death is inevitable. How do you handle the knowledge that the universe will continue on with – or without – you in it?

When Fórn played Philadelphia in April, I saw someone tear their t-shirt and use that fabric as earplugs because you were playing so loud. Is Fórn usually the loudest band on shows you play?
“Loud” as a concept is subjective depending on who is at the receiving end. Too many times modern heavy artists (as well as noise & electronic acts, etc.) are categorized as “loud” as a descriptor in an attempt to lend to their on-trend “epicness,” despite the term “loud” giving no insight towards their actual musical quality. Acts that are “loud” for the sake of being “loud” do not always equate to something of interest. Contrary to the popular saying, Maximum Volume does not always yield Maximum Results in our opinion.

That being said, we base our performance volumes on set and setting. When the band was in its’ initial stages volume was a strong consideration, however as we have matured we’ve learned to gauge our volume on the environment at hand. Some situations call for more aggressive performance outputs while some settings require a more nuanced approach. We tend to use gear that lends itself to be cranked a bit higher than some European sound engineers would prefer, and while we have been guilty of raising an amplifier’s volume a bit too much at times, we try to remember that tonal versatility is key.