Carnal Forge – “Gun To Mouth Salvation” (Vicisolum Prod)
Battle Helm Rating
Carnal Forge are back!!!! Near legendary during the millennium years for touring with just about band from Exodus, Testament, Halford, Immortal, Amon Amarth, Nile, Primal Fear and playing just about every damned festival in Europe from Sweden Rock to Summer Breeze to Fuck The Commerce, Carnal Forge’s brand of melodic death / thrash stood them alongside In Flames, Soilwork, The Haunted and Arch Enemy (and even more so when these bands diversified their original sound) for over 10 years thanks to 6 blistering albums. With all the band members taking a break after the Rock Weekend Festival in 2010, founder rhythm guitarist Jari Kuusisto inevitably got the itch and soon got back together with brother Petri (lead guitar) and bassist Lars Lindén, before recruiting new vocalist Tommie Wahlberg and Lawrence Dinamarca (Loch Vostok, Bleeding Utopia) on drums. Despite it being 12 years since their last album, and the first release by this new line up, I’m both astounded and highly proud to say that “Gun To Mouth Salvation” is classic Carnal Forge from start to finish. Renowned for firing on all cylinders each and every time, the 11 searing tracks here bear witness to that once again, with absolutely no indication of rust from the years in between – so clearly plenty of fire still in the guys!!! Blasting out with opener ‘Parasites’, Dinamarca’s drumming is massive and hammers in with no mercy whatsoever while the thick riffs are lacquered on to match although it isn’t long before the beautiful Scandi melodies start to flow and really show why this band have never been forgotten. Tommie Wahlberg growls splendidly and thanks to the mature arrangements and song structures, the material doesn’t sound dated but rather fresh out’ve the smelter so full credit to the band for this in itself! Remarkably slowing it down a notch on ‘Sin Feast Paradise’ only for the heaviness to take over instead thanks to the monster slide riffing from the Kuusisto brothers, Wahlberg drawls as the catchy licks flick about the mind before laying in with some heavy metal soloing while Dinamarca keeps up the steam hammering through power drum rolls and occasional double bass beats – awesome! Bringing all the brutal pit memories home had to be the aptly titled ‘Endless War’, whose frenzied ferocity could only be matched by its catchy groove and harmony tinged chorus, while the stirring Swedish melodies and rapid fire beat on ‘Hellride’ definitely brought back the glory of those classic Swe-deth days – definitely a big thank you to the guys for this. Truly liberating, prepare to be smashed once more by this renowned beauty and the beast!!