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This is a solid blackened death release by these Illonois boys. Out to make it big in the HxC underground, Forest of Impaled comes at us with a second helping of their pulverizing blend of death metal hooks and black metal vocals and lyrical concepts.
Most of the songs are similar, practically the band's worst (and one of the only major) downfalls of the album that makes it deserve this rating. Riffs are sometimes reused, but overall the drumming is the thing that gets the most repetitive. It's almost always just blastbeats with fast double bass, ala Kult ov Azazel etc. The riffs on the album are very solid and work extremely well in the context. They are sort of thrashy Bestial Mockery and Kreator style jabs. The band also pulls off a lot of note-bending that is actually kind of annoying at times. Vocals on the album are alright to say the best. I wasn't a fan of the screechy BM ones (which, when done right, sound great, they just...didn't work well here). The lower, deathier ones are very good, and the bassy background vocals near the end of the title track and at times during 'I Am the Temple to Eternal Death' are atmospheric enough to lend this band some deeper meaning. I guess I should highlight a few songs that are cool, so I will do that now...
The aforementioned tracks (title track and 'I Am the Temple to Eternal Death') are two of the best, along with 'Hand of Vengeance' and 'Death, I Have Become Thee'. The title track, 'Forward the Spears' starts with a great unsettling interlude, with this amazing piercing scream from out of nowhere and a catchy battle cry chorus. 'I Am the Temple...' contains some great riffage and the also already mentioned background vocals, which add atmosphere and a veil of unsettlingness to the mix. 'Hand of Vengeance' has a great drum interlude similar to Mayhem's 'In the Lies Where Upon You Lay' and some good riffage and actually pretty good use of string-bending. 'Death, I Have...' is good purely for the riffs and because of the fact that there is a very good classical acoustic break at about 2:09 where the vocals belch out blasphemy as the drums and guitars echo menacingly, until the madness continues. Not one of the best of 2003, but pretty close. I'm looking forward to another album soon.