CD REVIEW The Forsaken

Band: The Forsaken
Title: Beyond Redemption
Label: Massacre Records
Distribution: Suburban
Release date: June 29th 2012
Review: CD

The Forsaken are one of those Swedish bands I do follow since the beginning. It actually started fifteen years ago with the moniker Septic Breed, and throughout the years, The Forsaken (they changed their name into the current one in 1999) did record three full lengths at one of Sweden’s best known studios, Abyss Studio (the Tägtgren-hegemony), all of them released through Century Media: Manifest Of Hate, Arts Of Desolation and Traces Of The Past (resp. 2001, 2002 and 2003). Then things went silent for quite a while - until now.
Things did change in mean time: new label (Massacre Records), new studio (Fascination Street) and new member (founding member Stefan Holm left two years ago and was replaced by former Feared Creation (1) / Deranged-guitarist Calle Fäldt).
[(1) a band other The Forsaken-members were involved with, by the way]

When it comes to the earliest releases: it was of a more than just-acceptable quality, yet it did lack of any outstanding addition to reach the top of ‘internationality’. Now, so much later, the scene did grow a lot, with a certain smoothing, so I was somewhat anxious to listen to Beyond Redemption. And it gives me for sure some double-bind feeling. At the one hand: damn, it’s of the same hassle. Another Swedish act sounding like a Swedish act. Swedish-styled and Old School-inspired Death Metal with that typifying sound, atmosphere and approach. Yet on the other hand, one cannot just ignore the majestic power and excellent skills exposed on Beyond Redemption. This album is simply stronger than all former efforts in (almost) all aspects (yet in perspective: the sound is comparable: massive, brutal and over-powering) – but except for the sound / production, and probably because the scene gets overcrowded with smelly nonsense lately, this recording stands for a truly respite. No, it still does not sound original at all, and all traditional elements are gloriously present; yet the energy and dynamism, the professional skills, and especially the superior song writing and ditto performance are of purest beauty. …the beautifulness of Epic Death…

The lack of originality gets excused by satisfyingly tracks in the vein of, let’s say, Unleashed, Vomitory, (earlier) Dissection, Amon Amarth, (early) Hypocrisy or Runemagick, created and performed with grandeur and excellence pur sang. It’s fast and powerful, it’s merciless and skull-hammering, it’s solid and cohesive, yet it is not some ridiculous would-be approach The Forsaken stand for. And except for Unleashed’s latest release (Odalheim – review recently done and posted by undersigned as well), this album might be the best Death Metal album from Sweden this year until now…

88/100

Ivan Tibos.