Carnal Forge – The More You Suffer

up_031504_carnalforgeThis one was a pleasant surprise. I’ve been unimpressed with the few tracks I’ve heard from this band, so I approached this with trepidation. And lo and behold, what sounded before like another faceless pseudo-thrash At the Gates type band with hardcore vocals actually sounds relatively impressive and vital on this, their 4th album. These guys definitely aren’t just going through the motions, they are improving vastly with time and effort. And while they still owe quite a bit of their sound to the Bjorler Bros. and Co., they have managed to keep a tight stranglehold on their own sound as well. The vocals of Jonas Kjellgren are a big part of this, he somehow manages to sound like nobody else while utilizing a fairly common style of hardcore yelling meets extreme metal rasping. He seems to be toning down the hardcore element a bit, which suits me greatly as I am not a big fan of that style. The bio claims this is his “most varied and punishing vocal performance to date,” and based on my admittedly limited exposure to this band’s earlier work I’d have to agree. The riffing is fairly typical of the whole “Gothernburg metal” movement with its stuttering melodic slashing riffs, but somehow Carnal Forge manage to put their own stamp on it. The overall quality of the guitar work and the inherent intensity of the more thrash-inflected style allow me to overlook the gross overexposure of this subgenre to an extent, but I’m still pretty burned out on it, and I know a lot of other people are too, so I don’t see this getting loads of listening time. Still, an impressive album from a band I’d pretty much written off, and way better than most albums of this ilk. – Aaron J. Klamer

~ by martyworm on January 3, 2009.

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