Carnal Forge Testify For My Victims

Carnal Forge have just celebrated a decade of delivering constant brutality. Alas, over the past ten years the Swedish melodic death outfit have essentially been placed into a group of second-tier units that have been overlooked and underrated (i.e., the early decade releases from Ebony Tears and Dimension Zero) while bands like the Haunted and Dark Tranquillity hold the spotlight. Even though Carnal Forge deserve a bit better, Testify For My Victims isn’t really a huge step forward, but that’s not to say it isn’t an enjoyable listen. The very obvious combination of new era Darkane song structures with a sound that resembles mid-era Arch Enemy is quite evident. Along with the aforementioned resemblances, careful ears will hear traces of Testament and even a few touches of a cheese-free Children of Bodom, at times, on this record. The overwhelming mood of unadulterated aggression is certainly consistent throughout, and the staccato riffage combined with the excellent percussive assault of drummer Stefan Westerberg provide fantastic head banging potential. Combine these advantages with the powerful debut of vocalist Jens Mortensen and you’ve got a straight up awesome album that takes an established formula and exploits it for something undoubtedly metal. (Candlelight USA)