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Forged in Black - Ten Years at the Forge Award winner

Forged in Black
Ten Years at the Forge
by Neil Cook at 27 July 2020, 1:22 PM

FORGED IN BLACK are from the Essex seaside town of Southend, and they play Heavy Metal, which in my mind is a far removed from the tacky seaside arcades and donkey rides as you can get. As the title of this compilation suggests 2019 was FORGED IN BLACK’S tenth anniversary.

The 6 songs are taken from their recorded output over this period, from “Forged In Black” from their 2013 debut, which starts with the sound of hammer on anvil before kicking off proper with a SABBATH like giant riff before picking up the pace, with further examples of soaring riffs which would be at home of any number of classic Metal bands back catalog.  The vocals of both Stoz’s impressive pipes and the gruff very modern sounding retort from Keiron work amazing well and the track gives us a good idea of where this band are going.

The Tide” from 2014, carry’s on the formula, whilst having a bit of a Proggier Metal feel to it. The guitar work from the gargantuan crunchy riffs to the melancholic solo drives the song along and the dual vocals approach gives the song a classic and modern feel at the same time. Also from 2014 “The Exodus” was produced by Romesh Dodangoda (MOTORHEAD and BRING ME THE HORIZON to name a couple of the bands he’s worked with), this is a fairly straight forward, but highly effective Metal song, built on a big-assed riff. ‘Nuff said.

Fear Reflecting Fear” (2016) starts big and only gets bigger. Kicking off with an Orchestral refrain before launching into a song which twists and turns rhythmically and vocally with more than a nod to a Proggier Metal style.  A song with OTT guitars and melodramatic vocals. Like the previous track, 2017’s “Sinner Sanctorum” was produced by the late Chris Tsangarides, who’s CV includes some of Rock and Metals biggest bands, such as JUDAS PRIEST,THIN LIZZY and TYGERS  OF PAN TANG to name a few.  The track shows a subtle shift in their sound to something more Thrash based, with a definite nod also vocally to PRIEST’S Mr. Halford.

Which brings us up to date with the title track of 2019’s album “Decent Of The Serpent” which again amps up the thrashier side of their sound, before descending into a massive chugging riff before again stepping up the gear with a solo leading into a great twin guitar attack.  This one has it all.

So for me the question is where have FORGED IN BLACK been for the last 10 years and why do I not know about them!  The fault is all mine, these guys have played Bloodstock, they’ve played the Underworld, which I have been known to frequent and they have produced some of the finest UK Metal.  So the fault is all mine, which I intend to rectify! So how could the score not be anything else for this their 10th anniversary celebrations?

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Forged In Black
2. The Tide
3. The Exodus
4. Rear Reflecting Fear
5. Sinner Sanctorum
6. Decent Of The Serpent
Chris Stoz Storozynski - Vocals
Andy Songhurst – Guitars
Keiron Rochester – Bass, Vocals
Chris Bone - Guitar
Kev Rochester – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 27 November 2022

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