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Carnal Forge - Testify For My Victims (5,5/10) - Sweden - 2007

Genre: Thrash Metal
Label: Candlelight Records
Playing time: 48:16
Band homepage: Carnal Forge

Tracklist:

  1. Testify For My Victims
  2. Burning Eden
  3. Numb (The Dead)
  4. Godsend God’s End
  5. End Game
  6. Questions Pertaining The Ownership Of My Mind
  7. Freedom By Mutilation
  8. Subhuman
  9. No Longer Bleeding
  10. Biological Waste Matter
  11. Lost Legion
  12. Ante Mori
Carnal Forge - Testify For My Victims

A curve ball? I would have been the last person expecting CARNAL FORGE to alter their stale post-Thrash sound, yet with “Testify For My Victims” they not only seriously increased the quality of the lead-work but have also taken on a fresh identity of technicality and dedication towards more complicated musicality which manages to sound a hell of a lot more convincing than any of their previous LP’s. The band has also adopted a more melodic approach in several instances which is very similar in sound to that of THE HAUNTED’s new direction. The previous Thrash fad was groove, and now it appears to be the melodic hook. 

 

This avoids wallowing in the atrocity paved by albums such as “The More You Suffer” and “Please…Die!” by primarily focusing on diversity in the axe department. The Kuusisto brothers may not be capable of writing the most interesting riffs but the dual-leads experienced on this release are quite incredible. The short burst of soloing interspersing the opening chugging riff is exactly what you can come to expect from these two as the leads quickly overshadow the entirety of the music and leave you wanting more. Listen to the opening guitar swoon of “Questions Pertaining The Ownership Of My Mind” with the fret-shredding and oddly high guitar tone. That’s the sound of confidence, aggression, and heavy fucking metal all in unison.

 

Incorporating overt melodic moments into the band’s sound occurs as early as “Burning Eden”. This catchy track is actually rather solid featuring Jens C. Mortenson’s strongest vocal performance in conjunction with excellent songwriting which results in a memorable and thus satisfying experience. This clever evolution, however, still manages to be overshadowed by the constant chug riffing which is consistently repetitive and merely serves as a bridge between leads. It is also readily apparent that while the vocals are mixed quite well, the second guitar which often features a cleaner and more traditional riff in the background could benefit from being cranked up to 11. The riffs in the background are much more interesting than the chugging in the foreground.


“Testify For My Victims” may still suffer from its modern Thrash roots, but is in no way a bad album. The band has upped their game and adopted several interesting techniques which have provided much needed variety since the riffs themselves have failed to do so. The Kuusisto brothers have never hit us with such strong lead-work and I am pleasantly surprised with the degree of their hidden virtuosity. If you need a reason to even give this album a chance, check out the previously mentioned and ultimately satisfying “Questions Pertaining The Ownership Of My Mind” which includes all of the elements CARNAL FORGE have utilized in their favor.

(Online July 20, 2007)

Charles Theel



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