Reviewed by Oscar Hyde
Australia has made a surprisingly strong contribution to Christian metal - Mortification, Paramaecium, Vomitorial Corpulence - and these Perth-based thrashers' catalogue indicates they've a fairly good chance of adding to that list. The lyrics are a good cut above most metal bands', Christian or otherwise; the band explore themes of mortality and sin through powerful and harrowing accounts of famous atrocities, whether war, wildfires or terror attacks. The musicianship is all very good, of course, as it must be for thrash; the solos feature furious fingertapping, the drums are pounded with appropriate force and precision, and so forth. Unfortunately, when every chorus is chanted in monotonic gang vocals, in the style of "Breaking The Law", it's difficult to pick out the merits of particular songs and it's Grave Forsaken's reliance on the formula of thrash that keeps this album from reaching its full potential. Nevertheless, some songs do distinguish themselves. In particular, a Christian overhaul of John Lennon's "Imagine", entitled "Call Me A Dreamer", the most melodic song on the album, is a left-field highlight, a mixed-gender duet with Middle Eastern influence in its synth (!) riff. On other albums it would be considered cheesy; here, surrounded by so much awareness of what's wrong with the world, it's surprisingly powerful.
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