It’s no small fact that hordes of bands have been ripping off — and often poorly — At The Gates since their unfortunate implosion in ’96. But the one element, aside from their hammered n’ hammering riff style, that set ATG apart was their over-brimming rage and mass hysteria on par with Damaged-era Black Flag, something conspicuously missing from metal, and few bands hence have barely touched that overload. Enter Sweden’s Carnal Forge and their second album, Firedemon. With the first three songs (“Too Much Hell Ain’t Enough For Me,” “Covered With Fire (I’m Hell),” and “I Smell Like Death (Son of a Bastard)”) laying it all on the line in no uncertain terms, it becomes readily obvious here that Carnal Forge (presumably monikered after the scorching Carcass cut) are twisted n’ pissed, forever ready n’ willing to club your sorry ass with a spiked armband during a bar brawl, frontman Jonas Kjellgren dribbling frothy venom each turn at the mic. The band’s debut album, 1998’s Who’s Gonna Burn, showed promise, but was generally mired in tepid ATG-styled death-thrash retread; Firedemon blows that out of the fuckin’ water. Derivative, but destructively so — infernal overkill!
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