CARNAL FORGE
"Testify for my Victims"

(Candlelight)

01. Testify for My Victims
02. Burning Eden
03. Numb (The Dead)
04. Godsend God's End
05. End Game
06. Questions Pertaining the Ownership of My Mind
07. Freedom by Mutilation
08. Subhuman
09. No Longer Bleeding
10. Biological Waste Matter
11. Lost Legion
12. Ante Mori

RATING: 7.5/10

Those expecting "Testify for my Victims" to sound like previous albums by CARNAL FORGE up to and including 2004's "Aren't You Dead Yet?" might be a little disappointed. However, it is not because "Testify for My Victims" is somehow a sub par album (it most definitely is not). Rather it is because the Swedish band has veered from its uncompromising straight-ahead thrash approach. The album features a great deal more melody, sometimes sounding more like traditional Swedish melodic death metal rather than the constant rip roaring direction heard on past releases.

Before you jump to conclusions though, let's get one thing straight. There is still a lot of up-tempo, neck-snapping thrash on this album. Yes, songs like "Numb (the Dead)" do in fact include a memorable melody on the chorus (and why would that be a problem anyway?), but it is also a speedy thrash beast. The guys have just decided to mix up the approach more this time around. As for the Swedish melodic death metal style mentioned above, you will really notice it on a track like "Burning Eden" with its melodic guitar lines and damn catchy chorus (definitely an album highlight). Maybe it has something to do with "new" vocalist Jens C. Mortensen who joined in late 2004, replacing Jonas Kjellgren (SCAR SYMMETRY, CENTINEX). Mortensen brings with him a more dynamic approach, his command of nuance and vocal patterns rather impressive. His varied performance also goes nicely with a more diverse group of songs.

More importantly, the album rocks hard and includes several memorable tunes. Regardless of whether you chose to dwell on comparisons with the past, there is no question that "Testify for my Victims" is a quality platter of metal. That said, I do prefer the style heard on previous albums, but I also find "Testify for my Victims" to be a pretty darn good listen. Fans of well-written melodic death/thrash metal should have little to complain about.

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