Carnal Confessions is a disquieting and dark anti-Christian doom metal album. You’re going to hear a lot of ranting about organized religion, and perverted distortions of religious imagery, expressed by gloomy vocals over slow, heavy, sinister and melancholic riffs.
This really goes out of its way to be eerie and dark, and I’m enjoying this. More specifically, it creates that eerie and sickly, tortured doom metal atmosphere perfectly. The riffs are so distorted and heavy, and the vocals so mournful, that it feels like a full immersion into a dark world where nothing can ever turn out well. It’s precisely what good doom metal should achieve.
Of course, like a lot of music that is meant to feel heavy and tortured, it’s easy to find this repetitive, to think that all the songs sound the same and that they’re too long. I also tend to complain about some albums feeling more like a shapeless mess of instruments and vocals than like a set of actual songs. But this is an album where I don’t think that all of this is a problem. As I said, it’s the type of album that is mostly meant to immerse you into a dark atmosphere, and it does fulfill its purpose pretty well. But it’s also good enough to, well, not feel like a blurry mass of unremarkable and repetitive music.
Despite re-using a few riffs here and there, and using the same perverted Christian imagery gimmick, the songs are relatively easy to tell apart. They all have some distinctive elements, like the solemn and sinister title drop in Alone With the Cross, the eeriness of Shadow in the Dormitory, Poor Sisters of Nazareth’s sinister choir and charge against abuse committed by nuns, and the metal funeral hymn sound of To Those in the Grave. Also, some of the titles, like The Hallowed Leech, Chapel of Abuse, When God is Not Watching and Shadow in the Dormitory, create some interesting imagery.
Most of all, it just sounds good. The riffs are perfectly played and recorded. The vocals are pretty simple, some slightly low clean voice with occasional growls, but they really help create the album’s dark and tortured atmosphere. They may be quiet or they may soar but they never are loud and energetic, instead having a melancholic and horrified tone. This is the voice that describes all the horrible things happening in the songs and expressing all the pain of all the unheard victims of organized religion.
This is an album that I found myself really enjoying, and it’s starting to have a strong impact on me. It really knew how to satisfy the craving for dark and well -made music I had. So if that’s what you want to hear, give this one a listen. Listen to it for the atmosphere, for the vocals and for the imagery.
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