Thursday, August 23, 2012
The Forsaken - Beyond Redemption
How the hell can you go wrong when the first song of your new album starts with the singer belting out motherfuuuuuucker???
You can't! About ten seconds into the opening track, and title track, Beyond Redemption, singer Anders Sjöholm gets in my face screaming motherfuuuuuucker as the band kickstarts the album. And I'm onboard immediately. My inital thoughts are heavy, brutal, fast and unrelentless and that does not change at all throughout the 10 tracks. If a band isn't careful that could ruin the whole effort because boredom and repetitiveness can easily set in. That's not a problem for these Swedish death metal stalwarts though.
Beyond Redemption is their 4th full length release, the first in 9 long years and although I'm not very familiar with their previous albums all those years of inactivity hasn't hurt them at all. They crush everything from the word go and leave a wasteland in their wake. What helps the band in their quest for annihilation is, apart from excellent musicianship, a supercrisp production. Each instrument is perfectly audible as is the vocals and nothing gets drowned in the mix. Regardless what music a band is playing such distinctions are extremely important but even more so for a death metal band, at least to me it is. How does this work out for The Forsaken then? First of all, every beat from the drums smashes my face in and pounds me deep into the ground. Secondly the razor sharp guitars cuts through me like chainsaws backed by a thunderous bass. When the last song Blessed With Wrath is over I'm left mangled like a bloody pulp.
All is not full frontal annihilation and coming at me at 200mph, Only Hell Remains show how diverse The Forsaken are. Don't get me wrong the song is heavy as hell but the band moves perfectly between faster and slower segments and they have woven together these changes perfectly. As soon as I think I have a moment to breathe, they shift gear leaving me gasping for air. And this is how the band conducts Beyond Redemption and I love it!
Stand out tracks are Beyond Redemption not only for the motherfuuuuuucker intro(it helps though) but because The Forsaken show they are back in full force; Only Hell Remains for it's diversity in all it's heaviness; As We Burn because of the apocalyptic visions I see when listening to it; The Light Divine for pulverizing mankind for all its stupidities...brutal indeed!
If you like superheavy death metal look no further, Beyond Redemption is what you need then. The Forsaken are not reinventing the wheel but they sure as hell are great. My doctor advice to you is to play the album to release tension because it will help. Any frustration or anger will wash away...so get a copy and cure yourself. If not, I have my battle axe ready.