Hell Chose Me

Written by: BL on 09/06/2010 13:01:16

Carnifex was one of the bands that really rode the bandwagon that deathcore briefly enjoyed a few years ago, like they didn't really offer anything you couldn't find in most other bands. But what they did, they did fairly well, despite me not actually checked out their debut album "Dead In My Arms" but actually their sophomore "The Diseased And The Poisoned". It was generic as hell, but was characterised by more melodic dual guitars than I had heard on most similar type of bands. "Hell Chose Me" is their 2010 followup and in this day and age when we are far less forgiving of clonecore acts, it was going to be harder for them to impress, or even save themselves from a verbal thrashing.

If there's one thing about this record though is that it's still, even after all this time, more or less tolerable even on a first impression basis. There aren't a wave of mindless breakdowns every few seconds and the dissonant breakdown usage is pretty minimal (thank god) and the guitar work doesn't always try to come off like a watered down Whitechapel or Suicide Silence wannabe like most generic deathcore acts. On tracks like "Names Mean Nothing" you start to get a feel for the more melodic side which I mentioned earlier, well worked melodic guitars that phrase a bit similar to the likes of The Black Dahlia Murder back in their "Miasma" days. Then you have "Heartless" which kicks off sounding more like a doom metal song with an acoustic intro, a slower melodic buildup before bringing in the heavier faster riffing. The other tracks play around with similar ideas, though save for a few good moments here and there like in "Sorrowspell" or "The Scope Of Obsession" you start to wear a little bit thin by the end of it all.

Vocals from Scott Lewis have undergone a minor change, as they no longer reach into the low ranges as frequently and the pig squealing like growls are pretty all but gone thankfully. His high and mid range screams aren't the best but do the job fairly well, and the lyrics being "sang" actually remains fairly audible - though the words themselves aren't anything mindblowingly original (or upbeat for the fact). Elsewhere from a purely technical standpoint there still isn't anything musically here the likes of you haven't heard already if you are familiar with the genre and those close to it. The drumming is mostly as decent but pedestrian as it gets with arrays of strong fills, blast beats, and pedal patterns most bands can all do about as well each other but I did enjoy the sound of the mixing they received and the guitars as well.

There isn't really much else left for me to say except that it's a decent "rent" only type release for those curious enough to check this out. Only real intense deathcore jockies or Carnifex fans are going to get anything more out of "Hell Chose Me" though and it's a shame that these guys didn't really step it up a gear enough to break themselves out of a shelf of mediocrity. Though if anything, they're at least keeping up the chase with the big boys.


Download: Names Mean Nothing, Sorrowspell, The Scope Of Obsession
For the fans of: Whitechapel, The Red Shore, Despised Icon, The Black Dahlia Murder (older)
Listen: Myspace

Release date 16.02.2010
Victory Records

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