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Forte - Unholy War

Unholy War
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 13 September 2012, 12:43 PM

In times like these you need someone to set things straight. I am not referring to any kind of superman that would land from the sky to create peace and prosperity, I am talking about music, and when I am talking about music, I mean hard to the core Metal music. After 12 years of absence, and since their last studio album, the US Power / Thrash Metal quarto named FORTE decided to officially make a comeback in order to show the current Metal scene what is the nature of a true Metal force. That show of force came about with their new album “Unholy War”, released via their new label Tribunal Records, which is after being a part of the German Massacre Records whole throughout the 90s. If you haven’t known FORTE, I believe that you can rally up various of bands of the old American US Metal guard to the mix such as VICIOUS RUMORS, early ICED EARTH, HELSTAR and the early MALICE releases. FORTE has been a friend of the melodic edge of Metal along with a cut through heavy riffing and strapping paces that would encounter you with the beautiful and customary side of 80s Thrash and Speed Metal.

Naturally, as I wasn’t expecting anything other than their usual style, “Unholy War” is a sort of a continuance of the band’s 90s legacy. The riffages are strong, not too diverse but effective and punchy, wonderful IRON MAIDEN and NWOBHM melodies and catchy harmonies, assaulting rhythms with high emphasis on the intense bass drumming and nippy bass work. However, I wasn’t too much affected by the soloing, of course that there have been some great examples such as on “Undying” or “Take The Mark” for instance, but on the whole not too hot from my end. In addition, Dave Thompson at the helm of the vocals performed right on form even after all this time, well it has been more than a decade since I last heard him singing new material. There have been a few sections where I think he could have provided a tad more to his vocal efforts as the overall music, aside from the emotional state of “Undying”, is pretty much attacking and beating. I enjoyed listening to tracks as the ultimate “Take the Mark”, which reminded me of a fine mix between early IRON MAIDEN and early ICED EARTH, such a crude aggression along with these great melodic verses, incredible solos and soaring vocals assisted me on hand banging and enjoy the classic deed happening before me. “Absolute Power” and “Light To TheBlind” had their way at presenting FORTE as they sounded back in the 90s with even more US Power Metal articulations and infuriated speedy pointers. The “Undying” song revealed to me a great semi-ballad, on the range of TESTAMENT’s “The Legacy”, yet a bit more melodic and with fewer solos.

I was glad to find out, thanks to Tribunal Records, that FORTE made their comeback and released a rather good album after so many years. “Unholy War”should be held close to those insane old school US Metal fans and should be played until puking. It is not the best of what FORTE can offer but it is a more than a solid piece where Power and Thrash Metal are in for the kill.

3 Star Rating

1. Vae Solis
2. Unholy War
3. Dead to Me
4. Take the Mark
5. Absolute Power
6. Undying
7. Stronger than Death
8. Rain of Fire
9. Gears of Damnation
10. Light to the Blind
Dave Thompson– Vocals
Jeff Scott– Guitars
Ghames “Rev.” Jones– Bass
Greg Scott– Drums / Keyboards
Record Label: Tribunal Records


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