I’ve always had a problem accepting people’s thoughts regarding the current state of music. People who declare that “music/scene is dead” or “music isn’t as good as it used to be” show a sense of ignorance to truly test the people that know better. For those who do complain that nothing “good” gets released anymore should hang their heads in shame, only to offset the complete laziness shown by the individual who can’t see that music is as great as it was 20, 30 or 50 years ago. Think about it; you idolize the likes of Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath or Darkthrone? They’re still making and releasing music! Loved B.B. King back in his hey-day? His tracks will still get radio playtime, as do Led Zeppelin, Guns N’ Roses and Kiss. Even the likes of Mozart and Beethoven…(you get where this is going). The music of your past and the nostalgia that drives the idiotic statements found above only highlight the fact that music released in the year 2016 will have the same impact as those released decades ago. Carnifex’s ‘Slow Death’ is an exercise in musical brutality, highlighting that even metal released circa 2016 is bloody damn good.
‘Slow Death’ makes headway in a veteran band’s career and could even be considered Carnifex’s opus, produced and recorded by Carnifex and Mick Kenney (ANAAL NATHRAKH) and co-produced by Jason Suecof is has the power to be one of the year’s most formidable metal records even before it hits the shelves. Album opener, “Dark Heart Ceremony” sets the tone quickly. Head-banging groove blasts out of the speaker, culminating in a very agreeable audible bass. The back-bone holds Carnifex together, allowing for “Slow Death” to operate like a chainsaw. If there was ever a need to define Carnifex’s new record in a term not overly used in metal today it’s that it’s ultimately Carnifex. And despite the ‘cheese’ that went into putting that sentence on your screen, there’s no denying just how much that actually makes sense. “Slow Death” is heavy, exactly how it’s supposed to be; double bass kicks blast through sensibly chugged riffage and guttural roars. Scott Lewis has come into his oown throughout the course of his career. His tendency to combine intense roars and accessible decipherable screams really shines light on the band’s 2016 release.
Instrumentally, the band is as tight as ever. Taking apart the tracks it’s easy to see that the musicianship at every level is polished, practised and sounds like it was actually meant to be there. Add to that the slick production and ‘Slow Death’ redefines itself as one of Carnifex’s best albums. It’s important to note that even though Carnifex are generally a high octane, fast tempo powerhouse of screams and metal riffage the band does actually know how to make “pretty” music (yeah, you read that right). Bridging the barrage of stereotypical Carnifex sound is a pleasant little “Life Fades To A Funeral” where clean ringing notes punch through the air. Melodious leads follow and captivate the listener with a contrasting storyline of quiet. All of this is short lived as “Countess Of The Crescent Moon” dismisses the clean tones in devastating fashion.
Overall it’s a wonder that more people aren’t talking about this record. Carnifex is sure to blow away listeners come August 5, new and old fans will rejoice at the outright solid-ness found on the group’s 2016 release. Even if you weren’t too fussed on older Carnifex material, this is sure worth a look in. At just under forty minutes, ‘Slow Death’ is long enough to develop proper story-telling yet it’s also short enough that the album does not become overbearing. ‘Slow Death’ is peppered with highlights.
Check out the first single ‘’Drown Me In Blood’’ and the brand new track just released ‘’Six Feet Closer To Hell’’ below: