Despite being one of the first deathcore bands to dabble with black metal keyboards, Carnifex seems to have never quite fully committed to being a full-on symphonic/blackened deathcore band.

The last two albums, 2019s World War X and 2021s Graveside Confessions, flip-flopped between more Whitechapel-styled deathcore and slightly more blackened deathcore that they introduced with 2010s Hell Chose Me respectively. But to be honest, they have seen bands like Lorna Shore, Mental Cruelty, Worm Shepherd, and such, take the style they sort of help propagate and run with it as the genre exploded in 2020-2021.

Well, with album number 9, the long-running act (who, as I’ve said many times, are some of the nicest dudes in metal) has finally said ‘FUCK THIS!”, and finally fully committed to the full-on blackened /symphonic bombastic deathcore that they virtually help start and have hinted at for a long time now, and delivered an absolutely killer album, that is arguably the best album of their long career.

Drummer/founder Shawn Cameron has finally fully embraced the symphonic elements after half of their albums merely teased, dabbled, or flirted with it, and his keyboards/choirs now completely swathe almost every element of the already stout deathcore, that the band has perfected since 2007s Dead In My Arms.

From the opener “Torn in Two” to standout closer “Heaven and Hell All at Once” you can tangibly feel the band is angrier and more concerted to deliver a killer album after being a bit of an afterthought in the genre they arguably help kick-off. The vastly more bombastic keyboards and choirs gloss every song with a dark, blackened, epic aura that’s perfected for the likes of the title track, one of the most complete songs the band has ever written, “Crowned in Everblack”, “The Pathless Forest”, “How the Knife Gtes Twisted” , and the aforementioned standout “Heaven and Hell All at Once”, another one of the most epic songs the band has ever delivered.

And of course, it has heaps of breakdowns in the likes of “Death’s Forgotten Children” (featuring Chelsea Grin’s Tom Barber),”Infinite Night Terror” and “Bleed More”, Scott Lewis’ growls, and screeches, some melodic leads from new guitarist Neal Tiemann and a massive Jason Suecof production.

Carnifex has finally delivered the album they have teased for over a decade and released the best album of their career and I cant think of a more deserving group of guys.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
October 2nd, 2023


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