Sunday, November 17, 2013
Beginning with an ominous intro called "Vae Solis" this album goes right in for the kill with the title track "Unholy War". This tune is a pure rager in every sense and sets the mood for the audio assault that is to come through the rest of the album. Machine gunning double bass drums, buzzsaw riffing, face melting guitar solo pyrotechnics, thick, smooth bass lines and epic vocals that toe the line between an angry/raspy Ronnie James Dio and classic Dee Snider are abundant through this release. While this band is obviously well schooled in their respective instruments and do show some flash and flare, these songs are 100% hooky and catchy and 0% pretentious wankery which is refreshing when certain power metal bands nowadays are guilty of shredding for the sake of shredding while their songs lack any real substance. These are well crafted tunes that keep you coming back for repeated spins. Straight up rippers like "Dead To Me", "Take The Mark", "Stronger Than Death" and "Rain Of Fire" are all 3 minute and 30 second speed-fests that absolutely blaze from the speakers and incite much headbanging, air guitaring and fist pumping. This is pure, driving, intense old school heavy metal with a classic sound and vibe, but also with a modern flare for speed and technicality. "Absolute Power" is a melodic ball of intense thrash metal fury which showcases some nods to the seminal Megadeth album "Rust In Peace" with it's intricate riffing and timing changes and a furious lead section that would knock Marty Friedman back on his heels. I'm a real sucker for a ballad, so "Undying" really tugs at my heart strings. But dont get me wrong this is no Poison love song. This arrangement screams more "Fade To Black" meets "Beyond The Realms Of Death" than "Every Rose..." or "Home Sweet Home". Beautiful clean guitars and sorrow filled vocals give way to heavy choruses, piercing lead guitars and epic vocal lines.(I still cant believe the frontman here is Enfuneration's David Thompson, talk about 2 completely different ends of the metal spectrum. Mind = blown. Incredible show of musicianship and diversity on his part!) "Light To The Blind" rounds the disk out and brings us to the end of this audio assault. This one starts just a bit more mid-tempo, but while the speed in this track isnt up to the tempo of the disks previous tracks, this album ender is chock full of melody courtesy of both the vocals and guitars. 5 and a half minutes of riffs, and changes galore. When all is said and done from beginning to end, every track on Forte's "Unholy War" is just as glorious, dark and amazing as it's cover art. If classic thrash and power metal are what fuels your metal fire, if you are a fan of Iced Earth, Megadeth, Iron Maiden and the like, than you owe it to yourself to add "Unholy War" by Forte to your music library. You can purchase copies of the disk by visiting the band's label at www.divebombrecords.com and following the link to Forte. You can also download the album via itunes. You can keep up with Forte by visiting www.facebook.com/gregscottforte.