Forgery - Harbouring Hate
Modern Thrash/Groove Metal
10 songs (52:23)
Release year: 2009
Reviewed by Goat

Given that the only member of Norwegian groovesters Forgery who is in any way known is drummer Jan Roger Halvorsen (he provided the blasts on Old Man’s Child’s Revelation 666 album) there must have been something truly outstanding somewhere that persuaded Candlelight to release Harbouring Hate. The label have had a few Thrash acts joining its roster lately, some with better results than others, but this is the first time I’ve actually wondered what on earth they were thinking. Hardcore-tinged groove/thrash is the best way to sum this album up, big heavy riffs chugging alongside shouted vocals – think Fear Factory meets Machine Head and you’re more or less there.

What holds Forgery back is that, unlike those two bands, they’re in dire need of songwriting skills. The tracks here are often between five and six minutes long, and there’s no Proggy touches that would make this a good idea; often you’re left wondering just when a song will end, and whilst it’s far from Crap Of The Month material, it’s not transcendental enough to warrant great praise. The best moments are in the likes of Raw By War when the grooving riffs take on a Meshuggah-esque tumbling intensity, but all too often tracks are samey and repetitive, and at over fifty minutes Harbouring Hate is a real endurance test if you’re not loving every second. If you close your eyes and squint then there is a certain recent Testament-y feel to opening track Equilibrium, but it’s tenuous, and there’s something seriously wrong with an album if you need to make silly faces in order to appreciate it.

To be fair to the band, if you’re in the mood for some Groove-infested Modern Thrash then you could do a lot worse. In their favour is the fact that they haven’t really ripped The Haunted off as much as other, similar bands do, but that doesn’t mean that they’re chock-full of originality. Those people who loved Slayer’s Diabolus In Musica will doubtless get their fix of downtuned tunelessness and find much to like here, although they’ve only themselves to blame if they get bored by the halfway mark. Again, there’s over fifty minutes of this – Meshuggah’s brilliant Catch Thirtythree album was just over forty-seven minutes and had but a single riff, yet contained a wealth of ideas and is less repetitive than Harbouring Hate. In fact, I’m going to go and listen to that and stop wasting my time. At least Forgery can spell, I’ll give them that.

Killing Songs :
Raw By War (terrible name aside)
Goat quoted 55 / 100
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