Sunday, October 2, 2011

Review: Decapitated - Carnival Is Forever

Band: Decapitated
Album: Carnival Is Forever
Country: Poland
Year: 2011
Genre: Technical Death Metal

I can finally say I checked out this album and my feelings? Eh I'm not quite sure what all the hype is (was?) about. Decapitated for those who don't know are a tech death band from Poland. This is their first album I've listened to and I cant say I'm all that impressed.

Now I came into my listening to this album expecting technical death metal. But it seems the band recently changed all but one of its members out for various reasons and perhaps it was that which caused the shift in sound but this isn't proper tech death. In fact the band that comes to mind is a more technically inclined Gojira. I just don't get the feeling that there is enough death metal in this album to be considered technical death metal. Its like some bastardized version with elements of groove metal or something.

Another thing that throws me off is Rafal Piotrowski and his style of vocals. He strays further into hardcore like shouts than anything resembling death growls. He sounds at times a lot like Phil Anselmo from Pantera/Down maybe just a little more extreme. I mean it doesn't sound too bad but when you expect one thing and get something that is completely different it kind of leaves you scratching your head.

The guitar work is still impressive, tracks like 404 and The Knife come to mind though they are all still pretty technical and show skill. But its actually the stranger songs like Carnival Is Forever and Silence which caught my ear. These two are less by the book as opposed to the rest of the album and seem to be more about atmosphere and experimenting which makes them interesting listens. Carnival Is Forever is the longest track at almost 9 minutes and goes from soft, quiet, and atmospheric to heavy guitar driven and generally pissed off sounding. Silence is an instrumental track and is far more experimental and almost melancholy almost as if it were written as a piece for a movie. Funnily enough its pretty calming, the polar opposite of the rest of Carnival Is Forever. I'd also have to throw A View From A Hole in with these two as well though it is a little more in line with the technical death/groove of the other tracks.

Along with the impressive and at times catchy noodling is the nice drumming. Karem Lechner is fun to listen to on this album and probably one of the strongest members of the band. I mean yeah some of the guitar parts and riffs are interesting but as a whole the drumming stands out more so than the vocal delivery, and bass/guitar playing.

Carnival Is Forever isn't a bad album, but its not good either. It seems to be caught in that purgatory in between good and bad, the kind of albums that are seldom remembered for being famous or infamous. It is far easier to listen to than most technical death metal though and could be a gate way album for those who may be inclined to get into tech death but are frightened off by the complexity.

Score: 5/10
Standout Tracks: Silence, Carnival Is Forever

No comments: