For Fans Of
Some music reviewers describe albums from the more extreme and heavier sides of the musical spectrum by calling them ‘beasts’, ‘monsters’ or referring to them as ‘monstrous’. Sometimes this seems like cliché music journalism, but every now and then, it’s the most appropriate description for certain releases. In the case of ‘Die Without Hope‘, the fifth album from US metallers, Carnifex, it’s one of the more appropriate descriptions you could give it.
Much like Whitechapel and Suicide Silence, Carnifex were one of the break through deathcore bands to come out back in ’06 and ’07. Bands like Carnifex paved the way for newer acts like Thy Art Is Murder, Aversion’s Crown and recent newcomers, Infant Annihilator. Instead of just sticking to a typical deathcore mentality, they’ve incorporated more traditional death metal elements into their song writing as well (think along the lines of Whitechapel‘s self-titled album or the band’s last full-length, ‘Until I Feel Nothing’).
‘Die Without Hope‘ a great, all-rounded listen, it’s also a seriously fucking heavy thirty five minute listen at that! Both of those are no real surprises however, as this has come to be expected from the quintet over the years. But nonetheless, everything about ‘Die Without Hope‘ is heavier, darker, and more sinister than most of the band’s previous four releases. Of course, with this being a deathcore album, it isn’t a groundbreaking album by any means for heavy music. Although, it is definitely the heaviest album to be released this year so far – which of course, deserves some form of kudos!
‘Salvation Is Dead‘ and lead single ‘Dark Days‘ start the proceedings off really well. Surprisingly, a short but sweet guitar solo has been thrown in for ‘Salvation Is Dead‘ – something the group hasn’t really done before now. Also, small piano interludes interject some of the songs, which give off such a melancholic vibe, and they work really well. The title track hits you insanely hard and fast but it’s not till ‘Dragged Into The Grave‘ that you get the 10/10 material. This is easily the best song off ‘Die Without Hope‘. From its instantly crushing intro to its diabolically heavy ending, it embodies the best parts of Carnifex’s sound.
But, a lot of their original sound does remain strong. There’s plenty of blast-beating and breakdown fun to be had on this album, with plenty of chuggs and heavy as fuck riffs on the side as well. Thankfully, the band has moved away from some of the tedious ‘breakdown following another breakdown following another….’ song structure that plagued some of their earlier work. They mx things up with the odd guitar solo, intense grooves and more melancholic instrumental parts, like those piano sections.
In terms of musicianship, the Carnifex have still got it. Frontman Scott Lewis, has some insanely deep growls and some truly viscous highs that are still such a big highlight of the sound. His dark, morbid lyrics do fit the album really well, even if they are a little cliché at first, they will grow on you in time. Plus, it is good to see a metal vocalist these days talking (or rather, screaming) about themes like suicidal thoughts, depression, and anxiety so openly. The guitars never get too technical and intense, but they have been mixed really well and so strong and heavy across all ten tracks. Furthermore, drummer Shawn Cameron whips out some bewilderingly fast and fluid fills and blast beats, and while he’s done all this on all of the band’s albums, it’s good to see that he’s still got the chops for it.
The only real snag in the album though is the eerie, minute long guitar-only track that is ‘Reflection Of The Forgotten‘, which seems a bit out of place and needless. It’s a nice melodic addition to the track list, but it would have helped the flow of the full-length so much better by being the final closing song. However, it does act as a nice prelude to one of the albums best tracks – ‘Where The Light Dies‘. This rounds off the record really perfectly, and it sits in the same top-notch quality club as the first few tracks as well. This song is just brimming with memorable riffs, great drumming and even a pretty groovy solomake an appearance. All to great affect.
Much like ‘Until I Feel Nothing‘, this album caters to a lot of the deathcore, death and black metal inspired areas of the band’s sound, which is something many a fan will rejoice at. Some tracks may even remind hardcore fans of the ‘Hell Chose Me‘-era of the band. The band have refined this album so well, it does feel get repetitive at times, from about ‘Rotten Souls‘ up till the last track, but it’s still such a great release.
Thankfully, Carnifex haven’t withered with age. In fact, they’ve managed to put out an even heavier and darker sounding album than any of their previous efforts. ‘Die Without Hope’ marks a stellar return for the band after a three year break. Hopefully, this album will be the first of many more great releases to come.
Salvation Is Dead
Condemned To Decay
Die Without Hope
Hatred And Slaughter
Dragged Into The Grave
Reflection Of The Forgotten
Where The Light Dies