Until I Feel Nothing

Written by: PP on 21/11/2011 06:35:51

Carnifex are a much talked about band, much of the discussion taking place in a negative context. Knowing fuck-all about the band other than their miserable reputation for writing chugfests instead of albums, I figured it's my obligation to save their new album "Until I Feel Nothing" from a biased slaughtering by one of our other writers wishing to inflict their rage on the band's musical offering. That said, I can't say I'm fully behind the record, even though it's far better than a lot of people give it credit for.

So like I mentioned, I'm not familiar with their earlier output, thus I have no grounds for comparison here. But based on their reputation alone, I'm gonna go ahead and suggest that Carnifex have gone for a far more fluid and interesting approach to songwriting on "Until I Feel Nothing" compared to their earlier output. Much like other evolved deathcore bands before them, Carnifex take strong influence from death metal to their sound, leaving the dissonant one-chord breakdowns to a minimum (though they are used to some extent). Instead, they rely on frantic riffs that, while definitely still far more core than, say, Job For A Cowboy, produce plenty of head bangable moments in the form of tapped melodies, quality serpentine riffs and deafening barrages of brutal blast beats and brooding bass (whose only purpose seems to be to make the sound heavier). Smooth symphonic synths provide backing ambience on a couple of songs, but is used sparingly enough to make it count.

The vocals position themselves somewhere halfway between a ravaging shriek and a death metal growl, here resembling Suicide Silence more than any other band. They are also the weakest link on the album, despite their varied nature between guttural growls, higher end shrieks and everything in between. No matter the style, they fail to capture a proper identity and, as such, cause too many of the songs blend in together. In the end, you feel like you're listening to one long technical deathcore song which has some good parts and some bad parts, but you have no real way of telling them apart from one another.

Luckily, guitars in songs like "A Grave To Blame", "Dehumanize" or the At The Gates-inspired "Wretched Entropy" carry some of that burden and ensure that "Until I Feel Nothing" should at the very least be considered as a decent album. The leads showcase an understanding for dynamic melodies not often found within deathcore, which prompts me to ponder whether Carnifex are the next band to 'raise from the dead' and turn beratement into critical acclaim. "Until I Feel Nothing" is not quite there yet, but it's getting there.


Download: A Grave To Blame, Dehumanize, Wretched Entropy
For the fans of: Suicide Silence, Whitechapel, Despised Icon
Listen: Myspace

Release date 25.10.2011
Victory Records

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