Review: Carnifex “Graveside Confessions” [Nuclear Blast]

Review: Carnifex “Graveside Confessions” [Nuclear Blast]

- in Reviews

In the beginning of the fall Californian natives Carnifex have released their eighth studio album Graveside Confessions via Nuclear Blast records. No doubt, that these guys have a strong reputation on a deathcore scene, collaborating for years with such an iconic metal label.

Hardcore scene is rather a conservative concept with strict rules and explicit musical ideology. But not every band feels comfortable in these restricted areas and for once starts to seek the way to widen the horizons. Deathcore bands are no different. So there is a tendency to cast aside the hardcore ways and turn more into brutal death realm, and on the contrary there are bands with a tendency to lighten their sound towards melodic side. Carnifex also didn’t escape these changes, moving into more melodic and stable area of metalcore. But that’s not all. Despite the softening of the sound, they’ve managed to stick to more experimental and progressive path, choosing the originality, but with strong necessity for catchy material.

The aggression on Graveside Confessions is undisputed, Carnifex were always able to keep up with the heaviness, even through all the melodic veils, but now their flirtations with black metal have tossed them aside from clean deathcore principles. Everything on this album is about atmospheric spirit – the sound effects, synths and sophisticated programming is a powerful lever in controlling the intensity of the mood changes. Sometimes these sound effects even raise questions about their pertinence or are prone to create chaotic messiness. But mostly these are controlled, and though the foundation is still strongly rooted in the deathcore/metalcore domain, all these epic, symphonic and progressive currents make Graveside Confessions not only dark and catchy, but also in a way original and fancy.

The forceful and memorable guitar riffs lead through the entire album, contaminating it with healthy dose of straightforwardness and classical hardcore/metal principles. The symphonic elements (“Pray for Peace” or “Carry us away”) and funeral vibes on self-titled track echo the dirty suppression of chaotic post-hardcore of “Cursed” and forthright primitiveness of death metal on the last three re-recorded tracks (“Collaborating like Killers”, “My Heart in Atrophy” and “Slit Wrist Savior”). But it’s not like this album is exposed to the extremes, on the contrary, Carnifex have managed to create harmony, mixing all these peculiarities into controllable and integral entity, full of melodies and at the same time with balls of battle-hardened deathcore.

Graveside Confessions is a loud and violent album, you can hear anger everywhere, but the melodic side smoothen away these hate issues, and atmospheric moodiness adds extra finesse. But if you look closely on the cover art, you can see this desperate joke – when you are trapped finally by the death itself, you just say her to fuck off, I’m already dead. So you can be angry and hate this planet to hell, but that doesn’t change anything, in the end it is only the deathly fatigue and boring indifference. So, after the listening to this album, full of thousands of emotions, you feel exhausted, and that’s the way with truly deep and emotionally rich records, Carnifex poured out all their energy into this release, leaving behind open graves and bloody trails.

Release date: September 3rd, 2021

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