Carnifex
World War X

After Whitechapel’s The Valley, you could argue that Thy Art is Murder’s’ Human Target, and Carnifex’s 7th album are 2019s other ‘big name’, veteran deathcore releases. And while I have yet to hear Human Target, The Valley was phenomenal, so where does World War X stand?

Well, I had some reservations when I saw/heard first single, “No Light Shall Save Us” with Alissa White Gluz from Arch Enemy as a guest vocalist, it didn’t do anything for me and something about the cover art and corny title just warned the band were ‘big time’ now after rising through the death core ranks to settle into a more blackened symphonic sound with the last 3 albums.

But after getting even more symphonic black metal based with 2016s Slow Death, everything has gotten way bigger on World War X. Jason Suecof’s production is huge and the breakdowns hit hard . There are still keyboards and some  black metal infusions and when they go full on as heard on the title track (the make up and video budget is way up too apparently) or “This Infernal Darkness”, it’s pretty epic. But it’s pretty clear the focus has shifted more to big burly breakdowns and a more muscular, massive, beefed up structure and delivery that’s more pure deathcore akin to the bands early sound. Case and point, the following track “Eyes of the Executioner”, a virtually keyboard free, monster of a deathcore track with some huge breakdowns. Same can be said for “All Roads Lead to Hell” (featuring a guest solo Angel Vivaldi from  I Legion/ex-40 Below Summer).

The duo of “Brushed by the Wings of A Demon” and savage “Hail Hellfire”  are two of the album’s best cuts as they mix more menacing blacker wings with bigger sterner lurches with more ample keyboards from drummer and super chill dude, Shawn Cameron. And it’s where the band really shines as opposed to say the more direct blasting and deathcore lurch and stomp of say, “Visions of the End” or closer “By Shadows Thine Held”. Also, the guys have reigned in the atmospheric tracks that they delivered on the  last two albums, (i.e “Reflection of the Forgotten”, “Life Fades to a Funeral”), where Cameron was really focal.

World War X is still a  good album, and a natural profession from Slow Death, for a band that has earned their place in deathcore, but maybe the impact of this album has been lessened due to solid recent releases by When Plagues Collide, Ov Lustra and Shadow of Intent, both playing orchestral  laden deathcore and the latter two, I keep coming back to, while World War X is a merely solid listen when one of its songs pop up.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
August 19th, 2019

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