Carnal Forge - _Who's Gonna Burn_
(WAR Music, 1998)
by: David Rocher (
Talk about vicious... Love it, hate it, or just ignore it, _Who's Gonna Burn_ is one of 1998's most viciously mean, blatantly aggressive musical bastards, an ultraviolent fusion of hardcore and rabid Swedish death metal -- note that the shouter here is Jens Nyren of In thy Dreams / Armageddon (RIP). Burnt deep onto this testosterone-sweating CD are 29 minutes of raw, uncompromising aggressivity, somewhere between At the Gates and Agnostic Front. However, Carnal Forge, though convincing on the whole, seem to be suffering from some kind of musical tachycardia, and _WGB_ shows desperate signs of not really knowing how to ease off when it should; besides, a weird mix makes the snare drum stand out a lot more than it should, and when the music speeds up (i.e., most of the time), all that can be heard is the irritating, continuous "whack-whack-whack" of the snare over a muffled wall of undertuned guitars and bass. Despite being the work of the very talented Jens Nyren, the vocals unfailingly get in my face, as Jens sounds like he's struggling hard with an overwhelming temptation to leap around like a very virile uneducated primate (Phil Anselmo?) yelling "down in da pit!" and other mosh-pit classics. Nonetheless, in spite of these very blackened edges, don't underestimate this raw offering of nearly-musical brutality; if you're the kind of person who sneers at melody and finesse in music and enjoys tearing the heads off jelly bears (oooh!), _WGB_ is the smack in the jaw you've been waiting for. Decent material, but kind of unimaginative, and clearly below WAR music's usually high standards.
(article published 1/16/1999)
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