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Testify for My Victims

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Album Review

Long-running, prolific Scandinavian speed/thrash metal act Carnal Forge return after a nearly three-year break with Testify for My Victims, an unexpected but highly effective change of pace. Literally: the band's trademark breakneck tempos are all but absent from this surprisingly melodic album. Instead, solid, riff-based songs like "Burning Eden" and "End Game" stomp along at a medium-high speed about halfway between sludgy stoner metal and hardcore-influenced thrash. More importantly, new singer Jens C. Mortensen completely abandons the now-clichéd Cookie Monster growl in favor of a high-register, clean vocal style with occasional falsetto squeals out of the '80s power metal tradition. The resulting songs are a refreshing shift from the increasingly tired tropes of speed metal; while not exactly breaking new ground, Carnal Forge are increasing their stylistic arsenal by reaching back into metal forms past.

Biography

Formed: October, 1997

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Carnal Forge, while aligned with Sweden's fertile death metal scene, actually harks back more to classic thrash and speed metal, particularly Slayer (as well as the melodic sensibilities of countrymen At the Gates). Formed in September 1997, the band featured vocalist Jonas Kjellgren (ex-Dellamorte and Centinex), guitarists Jari Kuusisto and Johan Magnusson, bassist Dennis Vestman, and drummer Stefan Westerberg; Westerberg and Kuusisto had previously performed together as part of In Thy Dreams. Carnal...
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Testify for My Victims, Carnal Forge
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