Carnal Forge - The More You Suffer
Century Media
12 songs (44:33)
Release year: 2003
Carnal Forge, Century Media
Reviewed by Jay

About this time twenty years ago, four bands changed the face of metal. The so-called “Big Four” were, as we all know, Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer. These four thrash bands ushered in the first wave of thrash and inspired many imitators. Of course as we know, grunge came in and ruined things for all of us. The metal scene was decimated and all of the good thrash disappeared. I speak only of the US here because the European thrash scene continued to flourish. While the Americans had flannel shirts and ripped jeans, metalheads in Europe still wore leather and spikes and burned the flame of metal. Because they allowed it to prosper, we have them to thank for Gothenburg death metal. Some were fed up with Gothenburg death and decided to hearken back to the early days of thrash. Thus, the new wave of thrash began. Starting about 1999 and epicentered in Sweden, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of quality thrash albums being put out. The Haunted, The Crown, Callenish Circle, At The Gates, The Forsaken and Carnal Forge are just some of the bands that are ushering in this new wave from Europe. Not to be outdone, American thrash is beginning to make a return with bands like Shadows Fall.

The More You Suffer” is the fourth album from Sweden's Carnal Forge who is currently on the Metal Gods tour with Halford, Testament, Amon Amarth and Immortal. It has all the classic elements you would expect from a thrash album. The guitars are the main driving force. The work is spectacular especially the song “Cursed” which sounds like a modern version of “Seek and Destroy.” The drumming is spectacular with well-placed fills, creative diversions and metronomic double bass kicks. The bass is booming and fills out the sound, making it bombastic. Finally, the vocals, and my sole argument. I don’t particularly care for Jonas Kjellgren’s delivery. I think he has a good conception of this whole thrash thing but he has a tendency to use many affects on his voice. Vocal effects used not to bother me but since I heard “One Kill Wonder” by The Haunted, I’m beginning to rethink that stance. Marco Aro’s voice sounds so much forceful without the effects on it. While they are essential in Industrial and more electronic metal styles, thrash needs to be natural voiced to get the full anger and effect from it.

That being said, the music is terrific. “Deep Rivers of Blood” has two poignant solos that rip apart most other bands. The Kuusisto brothers rival the Jensen/Anders Bj√∂rler team on guitar. “Breaking Boundaries” attempts to break the speed limit for playing. This song is incredibly fast and Carnal Forge wouldn’t have it any other way. The chorus lyrics “So Far/ So Good/ So What” just scream out for a Megadeth comparison. Carnal Forge gives their so-called “shout out” to influences with this lyric and a riff that sounds similar to “Rust In Peace” era Megadeth. These men have done their homework when it comes to knowing what came before them. The music is peppered with juicy bits that are reminiscent of Hanneman/King, Hetfield/Hammet, and Cannavino/Gant. Interestingly enough, the influence from past thrash seems to be equally split between New York and Bay Area thrash.

Baptized in Fire” is another balls to the wall track. The immediate opening sounds like Slipknot style garbage but once the song gets going, it’s pure gold. A completely stolid song with one of Kjellgren’s only non-scream deliveries. The breakdown in the middle of the song is in captivating and creates a nice segway to get back to break-neck thrashing. “Deathblow” is another track that tests the limit of fast playing. Carnal Forge seems to want to be known as the fastest thrashers in the scene at the moment. They play significantly faster than many of the other bands of the moment. This track in particular would be a dead ringer for an At The Gates lost song if it weren’t for the distinct vocals. “Ripped and Torn” enraptures you quickly upon it’s inception. Shades of Anthrax are element here and Scott Ian’s influence is buried here as well. “H.B.F. Suicide” has a chorus that you’re going to want to shout out when it comes up. It was a good choice as an opening track. “Into Oblivion” has my vote for scream of the year, opening up with a 20 second scream by Mr. Kjellgren. The scream is an integral part of thrash and one element that has been improved upon in the newer incarnations of thrash. This could be due to death and hardcore influence trickling down into the talent pool.

If you’re a fan of slick, well-produced, no-frills thrash, Carnal Forge is the band for you. They give you what you want with little cross-pollination and watered down riffs. As much as I despise grading on a curve, with "One Kill Wonder" in recent memory, I cannot justify rating this album much higher.

Killing Songs :
Deep Rivers of Blood, Cursed, H.B. F. Suicide, Baptized in Fire
Jay quoted 88 / 100
Other albums by Carnal Forge that we have reviewed:
Carnal Forge - Testify for My Victims reviewed by Alex and quoted 77 / 100
Carnal Forge - Aren't You Dead Yet? reviewed by Jay and quoted 73 / 100
Carnal Forge - Firedemon reviewed by Danny and quoted 93 / 100
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