Carnal Forge Testify for my Victims

Maybe it’s because it’s their first album for new label Candlelight (after several for Century Media) but Swedish thrashers Carnal Forge seem to have a new energy to them. While every album they do is good, the last few have blended together into one modern thrash-fest that did little to stand out from each other. But here we have moments like the crazy riffing in "Q.P.T.O.O.M.M.” and "Biological Waste Matter,” and the just plain ass-kicking, scissor-beat-driven thrash galore of the title track. Unlike a lot of songs from modern metal bands, these tunes stick in the listener’s noggin, no amount of thrashing able to jar loose these mighty riffs. The disc does drag on a bit too long; in this era of over-saturation less is more, especially when it comes to 12 tunes of breakneck metal. Still, the band have finally surpassed the Haunted in the modern thrash sweepstakes, because while that band decided to step away from the beaten path, with mixed results, Carnal Forge have simply refined their sound and thrashed away, blinders on, heads down, ground getting blurrier, blurrier, blurrier from all the headbanging. And how about that creepy cover art? That’s the first time in a while a cover has actually made me feel a bit uneasy. (Candlelight)