The Wheels Of Death Keep Turning
Melodic death metal has come a long way since In Flames decided to take Iron Maiden’s award-winning formula and up the ante. Actually, it really hasn’t, but that doesn’t make it any less fun to listen to. Skewing further in the “death” direction, and tossing in a little black metal for good measure, The Forsaken offer up another slice of Sweden’s gross national product on their fourth full-length, Beyond Redemption.
The opening title track is a firestorm of blackened death/thrash, featuring dark harmonies, squealing guitar solos, and Anders Sjoholm’s raspy shouts and growls. “Only Hell Remains” begins with a gloomy black metal-esque dirge before morphing into a mid-tempo stomper. “There Is No God” channels fellow countrymen Amon Amarth’s Viking-inspired fury, while “Reap As We Have Sown” is pure headbanging goodness wrapped in swirling atonal guitars. “The Light Divine” is the only mystery track here. It’s heavy, but The Forsaken inexplicably embrace a deathcore sound and song structure, putting it at odds with the rest of the album. Finally, closer “Blessed With Wrath” features a highly catchy main riff laden with harmonics, and an equally ghoulish bridge, before tearing its way out the door.
Beyond Redemption is a well-crafted heavy record, awash with technical guitar work and satanic musings. It’s not going to shake your foundation, but it will definitely clear the cobwebs out of your attics. Fans of blackened death like Goatwhore and heavier melodic death acts like Arch Enemy will find something they like here. Otherwise, Beyond Redemption is worth a listen, but it’s certainly not everyone’s cup of ram’s blood.