|Review: Soulforge - Duality|
Label: Great White North Records
Year released: 2003
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Review online: August 8, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Not sure how to feel about this one. Soulforge play a kind of melodic death reminiscent of In Flames' early work, only softer and less punchy. I actually like the music on here quite a lot, as it straddles that boundary between death and power metal nicely. The guitarwork is really pretty good, and even if the recording is iffy, it's a fun kind of iffy where you can actually hear the speakers crackle.
The problem here is the vocals. They are worse than bad. Of the different schools of harsh vocalists, I have least tolerance for the screamy kind. I would have found any other kind of vocals better than the strained screams that cover this album like vomit, spoiling everything. I like the music, but the constant vocal offensiveness renders this almost completely unlistenable. This band would be much better served by a rough-but-still-tuneful growler à la Usurper or Udo, but as it is I cannot get past the horrible vocals to enjoy the album, and that's a shame.
So Soulforge aren't bad at all, and if the vocals on Soilwork or Carnal Forge don't bother you, then you'll probably like this a lot more than me. But unless they enlist a different frontman, I will have to keep Soulforge consigned to the list of 'Potential, but…' bands. Too bad.
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