Carrion Vael
Abhorrent Obsessions

Here we are, well over halfway into 2022 and in my eyes, two labels are standing out. The Artisan Era is having a hell of a year, as well as the label on which the new Carrion Vael is getting released, Unique Leader. Last year, Unique Leader were known for symphonic deathcore, and while they have released some bangers in that realm this year (Worm Shepherd, baybay), they’ve also unleashed the excellent new Exocrine and one of my favorites, Extinction AD. The crushing continues with Abhorrent Obsessions.

Firstly, this is not tech death, and it’s not deathcore. So, what is it? It’s melodic death metal in the vein of The Black Dahlia Murder (RIP Trevor). If you’ve read this site, you know how we all feel about their discography and it’s difficult not to make some comparisons, even though there are several elements which make it stand on its own.

There are more symphonic elements in Carrion Vael’s sound. In the opener, after a long intro, including some background synths, “Wings of Deliverance” kicks in your teeth with some stellar guitar work, a little isolated bass, and those highs and lows employed by the late Mr. Strnad, performed quite admirably. This a solid, if not perhaps a tad formulaic opener, but it does set the table for what’s to come.

What’s to come, friends, is a dang old banger, I tell you what. The first standout is track 5, “Tithes of Forbearance,” with its background synths in the chorus. They’re quite subtle and far from dominant, adding to the track, not distracting. It helps that this is one of the better hooks. However, what comes with about 2 minutes left is unexpected. Although it doesn’t last long, there’s a clean vocals section after the guitar solo. It’s brief, but it does make way for a breakdown, and a repeatable chant of “kill, kill, kill!” The synths then carry the song out.

You’re probably wondering how I can call an album a “banger” when the first standout is in the second half. That’s because the first half is killer melodeath, but instead of just saying that, I decided to highlight the better second half.

The last bit I’ll mention is of course the closer, “The Paint Shop.” It’s another solid, well-performed slab of melodic death metal, but with a little less than 2 minutes left, the clean vocals that were utilized earlier come back. They stay a little longer, making more of an impact until keys finish off the album.

I’ll describe this album in a hopefully relatable way. You know the ex you have that, while you don’t want a relationship with them, they were incredible at, for lack of a better phrase, “doing the deed?” So much in fact that once in a while, you wonder what they’re doing, thinking maybe you COULD take things to the next level. Carrion Vael’s new album is like that in that it’s great in the moment, which is an incredible fuck, and sometimes that’s all you need. Maybe if things line up, you’ll go long term, but even if they don’t, it was still pretty good while it lasted, eh?

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
September 7th, 2022

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