Januaryo Hardy, the mastermind behind Pure Wrath and its only real member, wrote an album about a brutal attack during the totalitarian takeover in Indonesia of the mid-1960’s. Historians often put these massacres in a list with the Nazi genocidal crimes, the Soviet cleansing under Stalin, the Chinese massacres under Mao and others. Estimations say that around one million people died between 1965 and 1968 when the regime under Suharto started its 30 year reign. Hardy uses this genocide as a backdrop to talk about a brutal incident during said genocide where male members of a family were kidnapped and killed in the name of “so-called nationalism”.
One thing that is really striking about “The Forlorn Soldier” is that it never over-emphasizes the historical aspects and thus never falls into lecturing, but rather remains very emotive all the time which can also be attributed to the musical components of the record. Hardy does nearly everything himself, but he also had some help in bringing the pieces of his musical vision together; Yurii Kononov (formerly of White Ward) helped with the drumming and Dice Midyanti provided the piano parts. All elements together form a brilliant atmospheric black metal album that does not have to hide behind masterpieces by Panopticon or Skyforest or others. The potion of heavy powerful riffs, the slow devolution of speed towards doomy elements and (partially) chants results in a real black unicorn of coal that listening over and over again will turn into the shining diamond it is supposed to be.
This is one of those history classes which will keep the listener spellbound in front of the stereo, asking for more – facts, thoughts and feelings!