Forge surely had warfare-cum-doomsday on the brain when crafting its third release. The sullen, bolted-steel title track says it all: “Of human achievement/The further we advance/The closer we come to our extinction/I say we do it/Let’s stop waving swords/Let’s get them bloody/Let’s satisfy the hordes … Bring on the apocalypse.” And, the best part is, they’re not being ironic. No tongue-in-cheek, look-how-badass-we-are fanfare here, kids; the band is serious as the last cockroach left scuttling.
See, these east-side clinched-jawed heavymen (drummer Joe Smith, bassist Steve Greene, guitarist John Dearry, and singer/guitarist Aaron Greene, a member of the Metro Times sales staff) offer up a colossal fusion of thrash metal and punk rock with Sepultura, Flotsam and Jetsam, Black Flag and Fugazi all figuring in as antecedents. What’s more, they’ve a literary bent that’s lost on 99 percent of the down-tuning mooks weaned on the aforementioned.
The songs are fiercely anti-political and inflexibly direct; death, toil and war as a forgone conclusion run the our-anguish-is-universal-anguish theme spectrum. From the doleful eyes of a society’s forgotten soldier to adolescents raised in post-apocalyptic caves to life-as-a-sinking-boat metaphors, the songs are full of party favor stuff, to be sure.
Aaron Greene’s tuneful shout props him up as half-seer, half-nihilist, with an atypical proclivity for creating choruses with staying power. Battle-cry anthem “The Torch” even borders pop (gosh!) and would fit nicely on any alternative radio station. The quartet is taut and tense, bursting with machine-gun kick drumming, twin-guitar walls o’ riffola, and clavicle-rattling bass. File under ear-singeing music suited for nuclear blackouts and other manmade disasters. Maybe the next record will include a few tips on survival strategies!
Brian Smith is music editor of Metro Times. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.