Progressive metalcore’s rising stars CARCER CITY have returned with a brand new album, entitled Infinite // Unknown. After gaining some notoriety from their previous three releases, how did the Liverpool five-piece fare with album number four?
It seems a common theme throughout Infinite // Unknown is the perception of the songs above the musicality, which although can require a lot of intellectual thought, it is something which CARCER CITY vocalist Patrick Pinion embeds into every aspect of every song. Pinion has a condition called grapheme-colour synesthesia, which means numbers, letters and often sounds can correlate and be envisaged as a particular colour. This has aided Pinion in coordinating the structure of Infinite // Unknown based on the colours he sees and interprets from each track. With this in mind, it helps Infinite // Unknown be seen in an alternative way and as fascinating as the concept is, CARCER CITY are still quite a reach away musically from other bands within the metalcore realm.
The album as a whole is ambitious, particularly within its progressive roots, fuelled by the synths and the subtle use of ambience throughout, used well in the opening track Infiltrator. However a lot of the riffs and breakdowns are nothing ground-breaking and use a formula which has been oversaturated within the genre. The overall sound follows a similar pattern to BRING ME THE HORIZON‘s highly acclaimed 2013 album Sempiternal, and a vast majority of Brighton metalcore outfit ARCHITECTS‘ content, however it doesn’t have the same impact.
There are a few standout moments which make Infinite // Unknown enjoyable to listen to. For example, the lyrical content throughout the album is by far the band’s strongest and most thought provoking. Tackling a subject such as finding a meaning and purpose in life is a relatable topic which if done as well as CARCER CITY have done it, can be engaging and have a positive impact on the music.
The production on the album is extremely crisp, with the drums and bass punching their way out the speakers, the vocals sound incredibly ferocious and the guitars are clear-cut, with the clean parts sounding atmospheric and the heavier tones sounding guttural.
One of the highlights of Infinite // Unknown is CARCER CITY‘s previously released track Sovereign. It is hard-hitting and fires on all the right cylinders. The breakdown is somewhat reminiscent of ENTER SHIKARI, in the way they incorporate an electronic blend implemented in their mosh pit inducing sound.
Drifter is also a standout track, it demonstrates a level of brutality common within metalcore, with an added layer of progressive transitions which brings the genre a new and exciting element, particularly within the haunting piano and clean changes in tempo and timing.
The last two tracks Truth Pt. I. (Nothing Is Real) and Truth Pt. II. (Everything Is Permitted) create a mesmerising contrast between the euphoric and innovative side of CARCER CITY and the pure relentless nature, showing off their ability to make an anthem. The overall sound of Truth Pt. II. is an inconceivable blend of a MESHUGGAH-esque chugging guitar tone, the clean vocals of LETLIVE.‘s Jason Butler and the dynamic musicianship of one of the frontrunners in metalcore, BURY TOMORROW. Despite the diverse combination, it works astonishingly well in CARCER CITY‘s favour in constructing a heart-pounding, unstoppable force of a song.
If every song matched the prowess of Sovereign, Drifter and Truth parts I and II, CARCER CITY would have no problem with becoming one of the most prolific metalcore bands to date. The band has the ability to create unique songs in a genre which is becoming shrouded in mediocrity, they just need to deviate further and not follow the path which has been laid out by many. Infinite // Unknown is a product which CARCER CITY should be proud of, as well as reflect and build upon the foundations for the next album to potentially sky-rocket the band in contention with the greats of the genre.
Infinite // Unknown is set for release on September 16th via Stay Sick Recordings.
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