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Review: Forest Of Impaled - Forward The Spears
Forest Of Impaled
Forward The Spears

Label: Red Stream
Year released: 2003
Duration: 40:48
Tracks: 10
Genre: Black/Death


Review online: October 12, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.7/5 (74%) (10 Votes)

Sometimes in the vast wasteland that usually passes for an underground here in the US, somebody gets it right. It should come as no surprise that this band hails from Chicago - home of the almighty Usurper – as these guys are also a fucking cool band. (Not as cool as Usurper, but who is?)

This is Thrashy Black/Death Metal with attitude and style. (Whoa! I think I just exceeded some kind of genre limit there.) I hear a lot of Morbid Angel, some Vital Remains, some Absu and even some Dissection – which is a pretty cool fucking mix, if you ask me. Forest Of Impaled are not what anyone would call 'melodic', but they do wring out some pretty cool riffs in the old "Blessed Are The Sick" mode. The songs here are all fast, with a few slower doomy parts here and there, but for the most part this is all full-blast-ahead with plenty of double-bass abuse and blazing Slayeriffic riffs. After the required 'atmospheric' intro to the title cut (complete with battle sounds) these guys crank it up and never really slow down. Vocals alternate between a fairly typical deathy roar and a BM-style rasp that really reminds me of the dude from Absu. I really wish the mix was a bit punchier. Don't get me wrong, the production is clear and competently done, but it's a little dry. I think a crunchier sound would have made this album even better. The sound on the double-bass is especially muted, and needs to be more upfront.

I have to give Forest Of Impaled an extra half a point for the awesome package they've put together here. The cover art is Hella cool, and the interior design is good too. The real prize is the lyrics. Check out those song titles – this is what I like to see. No ranting about "We hate jesus" or "I want to fuck the Pope" just evil and menace blistering from every line. Witness: "O Father of Darkness/ I bow on my knees/ Thy Mighty Servant awaits you/ Crowned In Swords!" The CD is worth it just for the cool art and awesome lyrics, and I'd rate this pretty well even if the music was just OK. Fortunately the music here is way better than that.

Forest Of Impaled aren't inventing the wheel here, and there isn't anything they do that hasn't been done before. But what they do, they do very well indeed. They have mixed pretty much equal parts Thrash, Death, and Black Metal together to get pretty much what you'd expect – but they do it up right with fury to spare. Recomended.

More about Forest Of Impaled...
Review: Rise and Conquer (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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