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Carnal Forge
Aren`t You Dead Yet?
July 2004
Released: 2004, Century Media
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland

The clones are still coming fast and furious, but Carnal Forge was one of the first of the “New Wave of Swedish Thrash,” so don’t hold it against them. AREN’T YOU DEAD YET? is the band’s fifth full-length release that continues on with the melding of American Bay Area thrash (Testament) with Swedish melodic death (At The Gates). The Haunted tread similar territory but Carnal Forge has been doing it a bit longer. Coming off a string of bad luck that befell them in 2003 (cancelled tours with Exodus and Halford left them sitting around), Carnal Forge is back with a vengeance. Many people missed last year’s THE MORE YOU SUFFER release because of the lack of touring, but AREN’T YOU DEAD YET? picks up right where that CD left off, delivering punishing drums, killer dual guitars and the excellent voice of Jonas Kjellgren, one of the best of this genre.



Where some bands go for an all-out heavy, in your face attack, Carnal Forge brings in some melody and catchy hooks. The music is still aggressive as hell, but things stick in your head rather than go in one ear and the other. “Decades of Despair” and “My Suicide” are perfect examples of this. On the heavier side of things, “Burn Them Alive” is non-stop. Kjellgren’s vocals are double-tracked a la Deicide and his growl/scream combination suits this song perfectly. There is also a brilliant solo courtesy of the brothers Kuusisto. “Final Hour in Hell” has some interesting time changes between the verses and choruses that I’ve not seen before on a Carnal Forge release. The heavy bass line laid down by Lars Linden on this track is also worth mentioning. The band self-produced AREN’T YOU DEAD YET? and they have done a superb job of keeping the vocals from dominating the mix. Kjellgren is an excellent vocalist but his voice should still be kept evenly balanced with the rest of the instruments.

AREN’T YOU DEAD YET? is another solid release from these Swedes. Why they aren’t more well-known is beyond me, but I admire them for sticking to their guns seven years into things. Hopefully this will be the “big one” for them because they deserve to get out from the shadow of The Haunted.



KILLER KUTS: “Decades of Despair,” “Burn Them Alive,” “Final Hour in Hell”
Track Listing

1. Decades of Despair
2. My Suicide
3. Burn Them Alive
4. Waiting for Sundown
5. Exploding Veins
6. Sacred Flames
7. Inhuman
8. Final Hour in Hell
9. Totally Worthless
10. The Strength of Misery
11. Ruler of Your Blood (Japanese Bonus Track)
**2 live video clips

Lineup

Jonas Kjellgren—Vocals
Jari Kuusisto—Guitar
Petri Kuusisto—Guitar
Lars Linden—Bass
Stefan Westerberg—Drums

Other reviews

» Firedemon
by EvilG

» Please...die!
by EvilG

» Aren`t You Dead Yet?
by Lord of the Wasteland

» Aren’t you dead yet?
by Anders Sandvall

» Who`s Gonna Burn (Remaster)
by Anders Sandvall

» The More You Suffer
by Anders Sandvall

» Aren`t You Dead Yet?
by MetalGeorge


Next review: » Carnal Forge - Aren`t You Dead Yet?
Previous review: » Carnal Forge - Aren’t you dead yet?

Carnal Forge
Aren`t You Dead Yet?
September 2004
Released: 2004, Century Media
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: MetalGeorge

It seems a shame that this Swedish powerhouse doesn't seem to get any respect from the worldwide metal forces. The band possesses all of the tools of the thrashing trade to easily burn their mark into the faces of any metalhead of prays at the altars of Slayer, At the Gates, or The Haunted. At the same time however, Carnal Forge are a lot more than a carbon copy of REIGN IN BLOOD or SLAUGHTER OF THE SOUL, they are the new breed of Swedish metal: an act that combines high octane circle pit sickness with flashy melodic brilliance all into one huge package.



While the band possessed humble beginnings with the more Meshuggah inspired mediocrity of their WHO'S GONNA BURN debut, throughout their 3 killer follow-ups(FIREDEMON, PLEASE...DIE, and THE MORE YOU SUFFER), they established a sound that differed from much of the Gothenburg styled metal of the times. Even though the members in Carnal Forge also play(ed) in other well known Swedish acts such as Centinex and In Thy Dreams, it seems that 'Da Forge is the acts which has received the most internation attention, having been to the States both at the Metal Meltdown festival in New Jersey, as well as embarking 2003's Metal Gods tour, alongside Halford, Testament, Immortal, and Amon Amarth.



So how does AREN'T YOU DEAD YET differ from the band's other releases? Well, to be honest...not much, but that's the brilliance of it. The fact that Carnal Forge know what works and doesn't deviate much from their established formula is something which I respect greatly. Rather than undergoing drastic stylistic changes, the band prefers to tinker and improve upon the existing framework, each time tempering it, and creating an even stronger and more intense effort.



The most impressive aspect of AREN'T YOU DEAD YET for me is the increased melodic nature of the guitar solos. While on previous records, we had your average Slaytanic squeal with an occasion deviation into Carcass/At the Gates inspired dual madness, on this album we have tons of classy, well thought out guitar work that adds a whole new dimension to the band's songs.Sure, the great mosh parts are still intact (see the Anthrax inspired intro to "Exploding Veins"), but the overall punch the songs possess this time around is so much greater.



So the good news for Carnal Forge fans is that AREN'T YOU DEAD YET another outstanding record from a band that just continues to release outstanding records. For those who still haven't borne witness to the fury of the Forge? Well, the time is now my friends. Discover the band you've been missing out on.
Track Listing

1. Decades of Despair
2. My Suicide
3. Burn Them Alive
4. Waiting for Sundown
5. Exploding Veins
6. Sacred Flames
7. Inhuman
8. Final Hour in Hell
9. Totally Worthless
10. The Strength of Misery

Lineup

Jonas Kjellgren--vocals
Stefan Westerberg--drums
Jari Kuusisto--guitar
Petri Kuusisto--guitar
Lars Linden--bass

Other reviews

» Firedemon
by EvilG

» Please...die!
by EvilG

» Aren`t You Dead Yet?
by Lord of the Wasteland

» Aren’t you dead yet?
by Anders Sandvall

» Who`s Gonna Burn (Remaster)
by Anders Sandvall

» The More You Suffer
by Anders Sandvall

» Aren`t You Dead Yet?
by MetalGeorge


Next review: » Carnal Forge - Firedemon
Previous review: » Carnal Forge - Aren’t you dead yet?





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