This British band play a mix of everything, thrash, power, doom, and straight up heavy metal. The opening gambit ‘There’s Always Time’ makes a good impression sitting between Bruce Dickinson’s solo material and some slight reference to famous Swedish doom legends. There is a touch too much use of vibrato for me on the first two tracks, it doesn’t affect the sound, just a personal preference. However, once you get to the latter half of this four track EP, the quality and song writing begins to gel and shine as one. ‘Pay the Price’ has a thrashier feel, almost Flotsam & Jetsam with Nevermore influence, but man, where did that scream come from! Ha. If I had to be really picky, I would prefer a denser sound of the snare drum. But other than that, the production by Chris Tsangarides (Priest/Sabbath/Lizzy – an impressive CV) captures the band’s music rather well.
The EP’s title track ‘Sinner Sanctorum’ is a bit special, there’s many textures here on offer. There’s an eerie feel, especially to some of the twin guitar harmonies. The transition to a faster tempo part way through the fourth minute really changes the character of this track, although it was like this at the start, your mind is swayed by the doom-esque centre section. The closer ‘Crimson Echoes’ at over nine minutes, is my track of choice for the EP. After a slow acoustic build up, this then switches into a neo-classical section, I am sure I’ve heard a similar classical piece, but I can’t put my finger on it. However, this also shows that a lower register vocal is just as strong as the parts that are belted out. Again, very much a morphed doom epic. Its rather interesting as when I first span this in the car I had a completely different impression of the Forged In Black’s sound, on a normal stereo its exhaled more depth and feeling.
Until now, Forged in Black are a name that’s cropped up a few times on various gig posters around the country, having now heard them I can see positives for sure. ‘Sinner Sanctorum’ is a nice slab of metal from a British Band taking their music down (thankfully) different paths to the rest of the underground scene.
(7/10 Paul Maddison)