Forged In Black – Lightning In The Ashes

Forged In Black – Lightning In The Ashes
Fighter Records
Release Date: 20/06/23
Running Time: 42:00
Review by Laura Barnes

“Lightning In The Ashes” is the third full length album from heavy metallers Forged In Black, a band with a sound as tasty and British as beans on toast. This is an album that explodes with New Wave of British Heavy Metal influences, but it is clear that metal titans Iron Maiden and Judas Priest are Forged In Black’s biggest inspirations. Frontman Chris ‘Stoz’ Storozynski has studied his forefathers well: his vocals fly, demolish and catapult wherever the need arises, giving him the range of a natural storyteller. 

This is demonstrated best on ‘War Torn Skull’, a song of battle frenzy and carnage. Storozynski’s theatrical clean vocals set the grim scene, while his harsh screams convey the chaos and claustrophobia of close quarters combat. It’s a killer track with echoes of old-school Trivium (who, in turn, have echoes of old-school Metallica… It’s the ciiiiiircle of liiiiife!) that really shines a light on Forged In Black’s ability to blend classic and modern metal styles together. This can also be seen on the album opener, ‘Be One With Fire’, a Judas Priest-esque anthem that is catapulted to the next level by the kind of snaking riff favoured by melodic death metal bands. Album closer ‘Detonation Ritual’ is another heavy hitter, with a fist-pumping chorus and fucking wicked guitar work. If I saw lead guitarist Andy Songhurst in the pub, I’d buy him a pint for his work on this album.

Forged In Black are clearly a band with an overflowing reserve of creativity and energy, and for the most part this makes “Lightning In The Ashes” an engaging listen. There are occasional moments however where this creativity becomes slightly unfocused. ‘Buiding A Beast’, for example, is a song packed with some awesome ideas (that solo in the middle is totally fucking evil) that are sometimes oddly assembled. But it’s a small price to pay. Experimentation always carries risks, and about 85% of the time, these risks pay off. 

In short, this is some bloody good metal! Loud, lively, and full of surprises, this is an album that will appeal to folks from all over the metal spectrum, and there’s enough here to explore that there’s plenty of re-listen value. A job well done!

‘Dusk Breather’ Official Audio

01. Be One With Fire
02. Lightning In The Ashes
03. Dusk Breather
04. Dark Lord Requiem
05. War Torn Skull
06. Chains of the Damned
07. Building A Beast
08. Brother’s Keeper
09. Hellucinator
10. Detonation Ritual

Chris ‘Stoz’ Storozynski – Lead Vocals
Andy Songhurst – Lead and Rhythm Guitars
Kieron Rochester – Bass and Vocals
Chris Bone – Rhythm Guitars
Kev Rochester – Drums


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