Carnifex
Until I Feel Nothing

For four albums now I’ve viewed California’s Carnifex as a solid second tier deathcore act. Not quite up there with Whitechapel, Oceano, I Declare War or All Shall Perish (my opinion of course) but mired in the vast, faceless but quality  rabble with the likes of Chelsea Grin, Molotov Solution, Betray the Martyrs, Rose Funeral, King Conquer and such (Suicide Silence were once in this group, but their last, complete abortion of a record got them demoted).

As with some of their peers, Carnifex took a bit more of a death metal turn with 2010s Hell Chose Me and that has continued for Until I Feel Nothing, but like similarly proficient but divisive act Rose Funeral and their recent dare I say impressive opus,  Gates of Punishment, Carnifex have added a bit of atmosphere by way of some symphonic keyboards to their lumbering , blasting visage. Not full black metal synths or Winds of Plague or Bleeding Through overkill, mind you, but some subtle, epic keys sprinkled around a majority of the songs, and you know what? It actually works, resulting in a pretty solid album.

Of course, deathcore and Victory Records haters will still sneer at this release, but personally I found Until I Feel Nothing a surprisingly solid album regardless of the deathcore stigma or Victory hate (though If I’m being honest, Victory really is releasing some drivel of late), so Carnifex gives them a glimmer of hope.

Starting with the requisite huge opening breakdown, “Deathwish”, Carnifex deliver 9 songs of tightly played At The Gate riffage littered with impressive if standard bass drop filled breakdowns. In itself its nothing more than solid even to a deathcore fan, as the likes of “We Spoke of Lies”, “Dehumanize” ,”Never Forgive Me”,  “Wretched Entropy”  and the title track (not counting the little bride at the end) deliver a predictable if virulent example of the genre. However, when the band add the keyboards here and there, my ears perk up as it adds a more majestic backdrop not dissimilar to Dimmu Borgir or Cradle of Filth in their delivery (wow, I’m really not selling this CD am I?).  It starts with a sweeping ending to the second track ”A Grave to Blame”, surfaces to give “Dead But Dreaming” a haunting pre breakdown bridge, standout “Creation Defaced”, and ends with the atmospheric second standout closer “Curse My Name” which does indeed sound like black metal meets deathcore (done right).

I’m sure I’ve done more than enough to put off most readers from checking out Carnifex‘s newest effort, what with mentioning deathcore and Cradle of Filth in the same release, which I imagine is the music equivalent of Kim Kardashian  and Kate Gosselin in the same TV show. But I have to give the band credit for doing something that borders between cliche and different, and could have been disastrous but actually ends up working pretty well.

Plus, I’m happy a band called  Carnifex is decent. That’s just a cool moniker.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
November 18th, 2011

Comments

  1. Commented by: DK777

    Nice writeup! I’ve been curious about these guys for a reason only slightly less superficial than their name: the cover of Hell Chose Me was great, I thought…

    And those who’ll take exception with references to deathcore and COF… take deep breaths, people!


  2. Commented by: dspang

    I actually quite like deathcore. Sure there are crappy deathcore bands. But I enjoyed the new Molotov Solution and King Conquer albums if for nothing but the crazy amounts of brutality. Which always makes me happy. Just my opinion though. Excommunicate me from the metal community now.


  3. Commented by: Jesse Wolf

    Album slays, the blackened sections are soooooooooo ridiculous. Great review man.


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