Review Summary: With the addition of an audible bass and some keyboard effects, Carnifex is slowly but surely becoming a better band.
Let’s be honest, more than half of you wouldn’t be listening to Carnifex is it wasn’t for “Lie to My Face.” It’s obsurd video and breakdown helped propel the band into deathcore stardom.
Who cares? Exactly. Being a largely popular band (especially in the deathcore genre and for a one hit wonder) is not something to be proud of. It just basically staples you as (9/10) a skinny white kid with obnoxiously long hair and skinny jeans who likes to poorly imitate talented death metal bands; while also being a self-proclaimed “hardass” by shunning all other forms of music that do include the word “core” and frequently visiting Hot Topic.
The album starts off with stereotypical deathcore/breakdown intro mixed with some keyboards. It is for the most part tastefully done until the guitar comes in and embarks on a massive chug fest.
Until about 20 seconds of We Spoke of Lies it seems like the typical Carnifex with mediocre death metal imitation riffs except the fact that the bass is immediately audible. The song transitions quite well and the breakdown doesn’t seem too forced. Scott’s vocals have obviously improved. It is nothing too spectacular, but it is definitely hinting at a moderately positive album. 3/5
A Grave to Blame starts off with a pretty melodic yet almost black metal riff. This song predictably leads into a breakdown, but the bass parts make it at least bareable. Around 2:00 it goes down into another pretty cool riff with a well-placed breakdown, but it seems like they should have cut the one before in favor of this one. To me, their choice of breakdowns and their placement is what bugs me the most about this band. Even though they still do a fair share of breakdowns in this album, they have definitely made them more interesting and not so headache inducing. They are almost reminiscient of some slam metal breakdowns were if it wasn’t just opens, but more like a chug fest moving up and down the neck. At 2:45 keyboards become distinguishable and it really adds to the depressing feeling of the album. 3/5
Dead but Dreaming has been out for some time now with a lyric video that is on youtube. The video is actually very well done and I would suggest watching it for some of the effects. But, back to the song; some old school death metalers but recognize the song name from Deicide’s discography, but both songs are completely different as Carnifex did not do a cover for this album. One thing that immediately comes to mind is the riffing for this album. The riffs are almost memorable and help to make this album not so monotonous (like their first three). Unlike most fans of the band, I find nothing too impressive about this up until mid song where the bass breaks free and has a few solo moments behind the keyboards. As a bassist, this is definitely promising. However, there is a breakdown that I can sense from a mile away. The breakdown is ok. The song transitions well into the end until the breakdown pretty much ruins it. 3/5
Creation Defaced has a mighty fine riff to start the song. The breakdown ends the shred fest rather abruptly, but they recover. The album has a very obvious black metal feel which is very interesting, and more prominently in this song. Again, I am loving the audible bass guitar. It adds so much texture and the necessary low end to this album that I crave. Unfortunately, the breakdown kind of kills the song (especially when they go into a slower breakdown from a breakdown- that annoys the hell out of me). After that breakdown it almost seems like I am listening to another song when really it is just a forewarning of how bad the next song is going to be. I would have to say, if it wasn’t for the ending of song completely botching everything up, then this would be my favorite song off of this album. 3.5/5
Dehumanize is entirely filler garbage minus an interesting riff at 0:30 seconds. It is the epitome of mediocre Carnifex and a major sore thumb on the album. And until the last 0:30 seconds it doesn’t even sound like part of the album (much like how the ending of Creation Defaced was). There are no haunting parts or depressing feel. This is just a typical deathcore chug fest. 2/5
Now, there is my favorite song off of the album. The riff at 0:30 of the title track is INFECTIOUS. This is what Carnifex could be if they tried hard enough. I absolutely love the low bass in the background. The second breakdown after the bridge-ish parts absolutely kills the song although. Some artists need to realize that breakdowns should be placed strategically. But after the breakdown, I am treated to another sick riff. For Carnifex this is really inspiring. However, they insist on giving me a ster fry full of breakdowns. I could see deathcore fans loving it, but a solo or something other than a breakdown would have been really cool. The rest of the song is pretty solid, but I wish they would have done something different than recycling parts of the song in different order. The ending (for Carnifex) is spectacular though. 3.5/5
Never Forgive me starts off with a solid riff, but then the break kills it. The next riff isn’t that great and the breakdown pretty much slaughters the song. If it wasn’t for the keyboards I would have immediately stopped listening. The riff in the middle of the song is pure new Carnifex, but yet again they kill it with a breakdown. This song is basically another filler with nearly nothing new in featured in the song. 2/5
By song nine, I’m kind of glad the album is almost over. These breakdowns are seriously getting to me. All they do is destroy what could have been a great song. On the other hand, the riff in the middle of Wretched Entropy is pretty cool. 2.5/5
Finally, the end of the album. But Curse My Name starts off with more of their deathcore fringed black metal, which is a giant plus because the last two songs were solid filler. HOLY CRAP, a solo in a Carnifex song??? Has my iPod changed songs on me? While the solo is nothing mindblowing in any respect, it is a sign that Carnifex is at least trying. Once again, there is an annoying breakdown part, but it leads into a more interesting breakdown/bridge part. The guitars finish the album in a fitting black metal tinged way (or so I thought). They insist on shoving an ending breakdown in there when in my opinion they should have just ended the album with a haunting fashion. 3/5
Overall, this is a mediocre/horrible deathcore band steadily moving up to a more distinguished sound. This was achieved by turning up the bass guitar and adding some keyboard elements. In retrospect, this is what made the album for me. For whatever reason, I have always liked Carnifex even though sometimes their music is god awful. Until I Feel Nothing at least gives me actual reasons for being a fan of the band. Also, the breakdowns have improved (if that is even possible) to incorporate more than open chugging wankery. While all of this is nowhere near groundbreaking material, it is a progression nonetheless and I would suggest listening to the tracks I have listed below for an idea of how Carnifex has progressed over the last year.
A Grave to Blame, Creation Defaced, and Until I Feel Nothing.