Carnifex is an American deathcore band from San Diego, California. Formed in 2005, they are currently signed to Nuclear Blast after having been signed to Victory Records and have released six full-length albums and one EP. The name of the band is derived from the Latin: carnifex, meaning “butcher” or sometimes “executioner”.
The band’s sixth studio album Slow Death was released on August 5, 2016. To support the new album, Carnifex joined Cannibal Corpse on the 10th annual Summer Slaughter Tour in North America as well as Knotfest/Ozzfest. Also two music videos were released on YouTube to promote the album, the first being “Drown me in Blood” and the second being “Slow Death”.
Dark Heart Ceremony—-Slow…..and creeping through your headphones, there is a nice sense of foreboding to this release. Piano heavy and mysterious at the onset, the slow build is almost maddening. Once the vocal enters with a brutal yell, the music is set loose. The drums are just incredible…although many of the other instruments sound a bit muddled and pushed together. The double vocal style actually allows you to catch some lyrics here and there. At the mid point of the track, the guitars do emerge with a nice clarity.
Slow Death—-Opening with an immediate urgency, you have no time to catch your breath from the previous track. There are nice tempo changes and some varied vocals on here…you never get bored from a monotony of sound. The sound is a bit dense…..a little to dark in the production, but there is an underlying catchiness to this song.I like this band….can’t believe I’m just stumbling upon them. The tempo break in the middle of the song…with the clear and awesome guitar playing is fantastic.
Drown Me In Blood—-With a bit of respite, this moody intro does not last. The vocal smacks you in the face with a slight industrial edge. The guitars are very present on this track and the ‘clean; vocals are incredible. The hammer like drums drive the song and keep it interesting. This is not as brutal as Cannibal or some other bands…but this is driven and practiced. Really fantastic.This will play live really well.
Pale Ghost—-The very few seconds of the intro to this track carry a huge industrial sound, but the guitars pick up the pace and the song becomes a barrage of speed and noise. The vocal is nice…I like that you can actually understand what they are saying…missing in many bands of this genre. The middle break of the track allows the guitar to soar and stand out….giving you many moods and less of a constant barrage of sound. Well constructed.
Black Candles Burning—-Returning to full throttle speed on this track, there is a really nice melody that runs through the bottom layer of this song. This is not a thrown together release….this band has 6 releases under it’s belt, and you can tell. The breaks and tempo changes keep everything interesting…but it is constructed rather than being recorded mayhem. A really great band.
Six Feet Closer To Hell—-There are definitive keyboards on this release….but they are used to only bolster the sound and the mood of the songs. There is again, a prevalent melody running through this track…it allows your head to move along with the slight groove to the song. the chorus is huge and the crowds will love this live. Nothing disappointing about this album.
Neurotoxic—-The sound and pace of this track is relentless…..pounding you in the skull with a huge sound and constant noise. The vocals are huge….and underneath of it all a slight orchestrated keyboard that gives the track an urgency and incredible darkness. The trade off of vocals in this band work very well…the higher tones of the screams and the deep guttural lines play off of each other so well. This is just phenomenal.And in the middle of it all a soaring guitar solo that brings everything together.
Life Fades To A Funeral—-The above track magically fades into this track….a heavy piano intro that gives off an ominous and sad feel. This was really a surprise for me…this track has a beautiful edge to it with standout guitars and a nice serene feel. This really caught me by surprise….very pleasant and unexpected. Fantastic!
Countess Of The Crescent Moon—-Not resting on its laurels for too long, this track returns to a full throttle sound that is fast….brutal and features incredible drums. The vocals are delivered together…giving the song a very large feel. This is incredibly diverse and melodic….with a true sense of brutality thrown in to keep everything dark. Just incredible.
Servants To The Horde—-Ending this release…..way to soon for me, this track delivers much as the rest of the album. Melody….brutality…but incredible listen-ability. The ‘chorus’ is damn near catchy and allows you to really embrace the song. The low hum of the keyboards make the song very large….the breaks keep everything interesting…but in place and well constructed. Definitely a band I need to investigate further!
****1/2 out of 5