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Forsaken Age - Back From Extinction Award winner

Forsaken Age
Back From Extinction
by Bex "Hardcore" Tasker at 30 September 2013, 5:44 PM

I write this review in fear of my life. The drummer of FORSAKEN AGE, the infamous Tam Cramer, said in regards to me reviewing them: “If Bex gives us a bad review, she will have to be beheaded. Nothing personal, you understand”. Decapitation aside, FORSAKEN AGE genuinely is a great band, and their self-recorded release “Back From Extinction” genuinely is a great album. And I’m not just saying that to avoid a grisly death. However, in saying that, I would have preferred Cramer to remain in extinction. And maybe the bassist Lee Scafe too, he’s a tad horrifying. But in saying that, in Lee’s own words, he is a “rebellious Metal warrior of sin”, who has joined forces with an ominous squadron of misfits to put forth one hell of an album. This brethren from Auckland showcase their malevolent Metal fury with this 10-track creation, which will have you up on your feet and straight into the moshpit.

Having formed in 2009, FORSAKEN AGE began as a cover band, under the name TWISTED METAL. However, in 2010 they sought to prove themselves as much more than that, and began writing their own material. Their influences include IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST, BLACK SABBATH and a multitude of other Heavy Metal Gods. The themes of war and tribute are highly prominent in this album, right from the start of their opening track “Intro (Forsaken Age)”. It kicks things off with an ominous chorus of voices engaging in an eerie religious chant whilst a haunting voice tells a story about a warrior of the Forsaken Age rising up from extinction to serve the Gods of Heavy Metal. The following track, “H.M.A.” gets straight into the heavy, and introduces Chrissy Scarfe’s powerful yet gentle vocals. The riffs are distorted, the bass disastrous, and the drumming dreaded. The next track is one of my faves, and awesome to hear live. “Pedal To The Metal” has riffs that get your feet tapping, timed perfectly with the drums. As Chrissy says, “we play heavy metal, and we play it loud”, and they certainly do. You can’t be in the moshpit at a FORSAKEN AGE gig and not “point those horns to the sky” at the band’s command. A strong track, made even more so by the awesome solo by guitarist Warren Davies near the end. “1080” has riffs even catchier than the previous track, and Chrissy’s vocals show their claws by getting deeper and very menacing. Track number five emphasizes the theme of war through the military drumming, and by the title itself. “Lords of War” consists of impressive work by all members, with some funky bass by Lee to keep everyone on track. The lyrics are great too, give them an attentive listen.

As we enter the second half of the album, “Hunting The Fox” brings forth some great musicianship. Davies’s guitar work is as strong as ever, with riffs too groovy to be ignored. Cramer’s drumming keeps things up to speed, and some sound effects of aeroplanes give the track an added twist. Track seven, “Running In The Dark”, features more of Chrissy’s diverse vocals; strong but with a feminine touch. The other Scarfe’s bass work ain’t too shabby, either. There’s a surprising interlude in the second minute of the song, where things become temporarily melodic. However, before long the epic distortion returns, along with another solo by Davies. “Iron Overlord” is as tyrannous as the name suggests, and the band take no prisoners with gruff vocals, distorted riffication, and some relentless drum and bass, and even a breakdown. Good stuff. The next track begins more gradually, and more quietly than what we’ve seen so far in the album. “Ice Cold” is softer, but still hard enough to knock your teeth out. Again the interlude is melodic, and the song ends as gradually as it began. Finally, “Twisted Sanity” opens with some screeching guitar, and showcases all of FORSAKEN AGE’s best features. In a nutshell: catchy riffs, energetic drumming, funky bass, and solid vocals. There are a few muttering voices as the song draws to a close, depicting the disturbed temperament of the band.

So there we have it, a great band, a great album, a great bunch of people. I think Cramer will be happy with my analysis of things, but if not, this may be my last review, and the last thing I ever do, so farewell. All “rebellious metal warriors of sin” need to give this album a listen, particular those who wish to pay tribute to the Gods of Heavy Metal. Play this to them, and they won’t be disappointed. 

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Forsaken Age (Intro)
2. H.M.A.
3. Pedal To The Metal
4. 1080
5. Lords of War
6. Hunting The Fox
7. Running In The Dark
8. Iron Overload
9. Ice Cold
10. Twisted Sanity
Lineup:
Chrissy Scarfe – Vocals
Warren Davies – Guitar
Lee Scarfe – Bass
Tam Cramer – Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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