Written by Daniel McDonald
Any Christian metal-head worth his salt should be keeping an eye on the formidable Rottweiler Records, who are on an unstoppable run signing some of the best and most original Christian metal acts from all over the world. All you need to do is check out the releases from bands like Finland’s IMMORTAL SOULS, Columbia’s AGGELOS and Brazil’s DOOMSDAY HYMN to see Rottweiler have one of the most unique roster of artists in the business.
With the soon-to-be released Cremationem Jesus Lacrimam from South Africa’s FORFEIT THEE UNTRUE, you can see that Rottweiler show no sign of slowing down and intend on leaving a permanent mark in the Christian metal world.
I have had the great privilege of having access to Cremationem Jesus Lacrimam (which translates to “The Cremation of Jesus’ Tears”) for the last few weeks and have been eagerly anticipating writing this review to tell y’all just how good the album is and to encourage everyone to support the band and the label by buying a copy when it lands on 1 April 2016.
The first thing I did when I heard FORFEIT THEE UNTRUE’s Cremationem Jesus Lacrimam was get on the phone to my closest mate and a fellow metal-bro and tell him just how good the album was and told him to make sure he gets it when it comes out. This is the same response I expect many of those who hear the album will make too. Yes. It is that good.
Check out the video of “Cradled In Black Arms” here so you can see just what I mean.
Cremationem Jesus Lacrimam makes an impact, like a good, hard punch square to the face. The quality of the song-writing, vocals and production are absolutely not what I expect from a band who is putting out their very first LP. The songs are heavy and layered, the vocals sound like they come from a pro who has been putting out albums for years, and the production is a far-cry from the raw quality I normally expect from debut releases.
FORFEIT THEE UNTRUE’s sound brings to mind some of the 90’s heavy-hitters like Pantera and Metallica with shredding vocals and a succinct combination of guitars, groove and percussion. The most recent comparisons that come to mind are some of the best in the business, like the ever mighty DEMON HUNTER and death-dealing acts like LIVING SACRIFICE and IMPENDING DOOM. The gritty growls mixes well with the clean vox and FORFEIT THEE UNTRUE also show that their not afraid of conquering on a ballad or two; each song fitting well within the flow of the album.
The only slow point in the album for me is the quieter track “Lucifer’s Lullaby”. But this is one very minor issue on an album that continues to impress in every other facet from beginning to end.
Cremationem Jesus Lacrimam’s themes are suitably dark and hit home with songs that cut straight to the heart of the Christian faith, taking on subjects like the crucifixion of Christ, God’s judgement and the evil of men.
The album boasts some impressive guest vocals, most notably from Ryan Kirby from FIT FOR A KING. Unlike many guest vocals, Kirby’s input is put to great use in complimenting the track but never being able to steal the show. A testament to the work FTU have put into their craft.
Finally, Cremationem Jesus Lacrimam also includes two bonus tracks which are alternate versions of the songs “As the Wicked Wander” and “Black & White”, which provide an added level for a nerd like me who will play both tracks back-to-back to see the differences.
4.5 star out of 5
FORFEIT THEE UNTRUE has literally come out of nowhere and is likely to impress the expletive out of anyone who listens to Cremationem Jesus Lacrimam. Rottweiler have once again given me a reason to stay passionate about Christian metal by giving me access to an album that is both a tribute to the great metal of the recent past as well as being a standard setter for albums set to follow in its wake in 2016. It is heavy, groovy, solid and mean; just like a member of the Rottweiler pack should be. I would have stern words to anyone who doesn’t enjoy this album.
01 Let There Be Light
02 The Mirror That Hates
03 Seven (Part I)
04 Fractured God (feat. Robyn Ferguson)
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)
Cremationem Jesus Lacrimam is released on 1 April 2016 via Rottweiler Records
Pre-order the album via iTunes here, check Google Play on release day or walk into your local record store to buy a hardcore hardcopy.