I grew up in the late 80’s and early 90’s South African Metal scene, and was very involved in various forms in the scene during that time.. Back then Voice Of Destruction (V.O.D.) was one of my favourite South African metal bands. Back then we were playing catch-up. What isolation did for South African metal and African metal as a whole back then created a unique breed of metalhead. Thinking African metal bands of the mid 70’s like Amanaz who played a psychedelic metal rock to African drumming. Botswana’s death metal band Overthrust, possess similar charms. There are a lot more bands I could mention that have set a pretty sturdy foundation and repertoire for African metal as a whole. Even the hybrid death metal band, Adorned In Ash come to mind with their original blend of death metal onslaught that is setting the pace and quality of South African Metal today. In the 80’s and 90’s it was fact that we were playing catch up on many musical frontiers, but today, South African bands on a whole have set the playing fields level, and in some cases taken the lead (Adorned In Ash is one of those bands). This brings our attention to another band that deserves international success, their name be, Forfeit The Untrue.
This South African metal band started life around 2010 finishing their debut Ep, Blood Soaked Splinter in February of 2013, an explosive release that shook the Christian metal community world-wide. It showcased and set the platform for the band’s dynamic blend of metal influences and impressive song writing ability establishing a distinct attitude and presence in the world of metal.
It is honouring to see bands like Forfeit The Untrue play with such conviction and quality that could have them contend on the best of metal festivals internationally. I think metal has always been my roots, even though today I am part of a hardcore crossover thrash punk band. That element would always be in our music, and that is why I will always have an appreciation for metal. It is also bands like this that make me proud of the calibre of metal South Africa has to offer.
You can hear the careful creativity been expressed throughout the album, a culmination of time and proficiency of practical skill. “Cremationem Jesus Lacrimam” is Forfeit The Untrue’s break through release that infuses aggression, calmness and brutality into a tight packaged product of riotous metal for Christ. It’s this accumulation of creativity and energy that captivates one into their world as the album unfolds and draws one in to the landscape of the depth and quality of their sound.
There is a determination and force in their presentation, and it’s that influence and quality far beyond the music and the lyrics that can create a place for this group on a global arena as a band to be taken seriously. If they hold it together they have the potential to be really big. Link in to the passion and power, the absolute brutality of musical delivery and you will be swept away.
They present an album of dramatic expression that sets forth a concrete interpretation of metal mania fused with intellectual and passion fuelled lyrical prowess that gives an album of accomplished artistic expression that stands the album well above the crowd. Right from “Let There Be Light” one realizes that this band can go places, that this band has the potential and ingenuity to give it an edge in a genre that is already populated by a great many quality metal bands.
“Let There Be Light” is a great introduction and insight to the very DNA of the band itself. It ideally sets that pallet of their heart to the listener as they set the stage of their scripture fuelled metal explosiveness of an album. It unveils a band that wears its heart on its sleeve through its brutal honesty and lyrical ministry.
Normally I tune out when songs reach the 5 minute mark and beyond point. I guess in some ways I am still a kid, and with all the music I have listened to in my life time (I have a personal collection of albums of somewhere near 15 000 give or take a thousand or more.lol) it takes a lot to hold my attention let alone impress me. So what I am saying is the album is not a quick listen, and thank goodness for that. It’s an album that deserves a couple of listens through to truly appreciate its stylistic diversity and quality. This is not some cheap wine that you gulp down, it’s something that you saver over time. The song, “The Mirror” is a great representation of the bands ability to weld styles together without butchering the origins of each of the styles, and stands as a highly recommended track off the album along with the epic driving force of “Seven (Part I)” which is for me not only the longest song I have actually paid complete attention through from beginning to end, but can with all honesty say if there is one song that you listen to on this album, this is the one. From the vocals to the musical landscape the band totally rips it up with metal mayhem perfection.
It was quiet surprise and enjoyment to see my good friend Robyn Ferguson from Adorned In Ash add some of her metal perfection to the album on the track “Fractured god”, another standout track from the album. Robyn’s vocals just add another layer of diversity, body and colour to the album to a release that is already strong in its diversity and creativity.
I love it when bands reach into the diversity pool and do not cage their creativity up. Forfeit The Untrue deliver track after track from that, and another great example of that is with “Sermon of a Dying Atheist”.
What you have is a album of diverse creativity that engages track for track and certainly at least through their musical influences there is a lot that one can hear stylistically on the album that reflects the many influences that the band draws from into to create an album that gives homage of some of the bands gone before them, yet manages to highlight the bands own musical credibility.
So at the end of Cremationem Jesus Lacrimam looking back on the album after numerous listens in the lounge, in my car, bathroom….ummm, well you get the picture one cannot help but pick up that there is also a progressiveness edge to the album. There are very few albums that fuse everything from death metal to hard rock that can speak to fans across the metal genre spectrum. This album succeeds in that on all fronts delivering an album that despite its hard line scripture faith filled lyrical strength and stance can in all honesty be appreciated by Christians and non Christians alike. This is the kind of album that can reach deep into the darklands and actually change lives. It’s hard, riff thrashing power driven momentous delivery is a powerful inclusion in the world of metal. Its a riotous proclamation of faith mixed with stomach pulverising energy and intent that shines a light in a world of darkness.
Written by Donovan de Necker
01) Let There Be Light
02) The Mirror That Hates
03) Seven (Part I)
04) Fractured god (feat. Robyn Ferguson).mp3
05) Sermon Of A Dying Atheist
06) Burning Of The Last Bible
07) Lucifer’s Lullaby
08) As The Wicked Wander (feat. Brandon Pratt)
09) Cradled In Black Arms
10) The Dagger Held By Mary
11) Black & White (In A World Of Grey)
12) Seven (Part II) (feat. Ryan Kirby)
13) As The Wicked Wander (Alt. Version)
14) Black & White (In A World Of Grey) (Radio Edit)
Gideon Karsten – Vocals/Guitar
Craig Palmer – Drums
Mitch Pearson – Guitar
Eckard van Tonder – Bass
Record Label: Rottweiler Records, April 2016
“Blood Soaked Splinter” EP (2013)
“Cremationem Jesus Lacrimam” (2016)
Lyric video: ‘Cradled in Black Arms’