ALBUM REVIEW: Slow Death – Carnifex

With their sixth album, Slow Death, deathcore band CARNIFEX are ready to take on the world once more with some of the filthiest music of 2016. The album is heavily rounded around depression and CARNIFEX want to give relation to fans who might be struggling. Can Slow Death take so much on its shoulders?

Opening up with a melancholy atmosphere, just through the use of orchestration and a piano on Dark Heart Ceremony, it is clear to see that Slow Death will take on a darker tone and demonstrate the depths of sheer brutality as it throws itself into absolutely filthy guttural vocals from Scott Lewis and battering, black metal-esque riffs and blast beats.

Title-track Slow Death, Drown Me In Blood and Pale Ghost demolish their surroundings with ferocity. The level in which CARNIFEX deliver probably their most soul-crushing material is unreachable. The band divulge into the subject of depression heavily, the lyrical content is all there in order to get the fans to be able to relate but the sheer aggression that leaks out of these songs, really creates a balance of understanding how to control it and not let it consume you.

Black Candles Burning is yet another excellent example of how the quintet have filtered their black metal influences through. The band have been known for the magnitude of their influences from every spectrum in metal, however black metal is one of their most dominant and Slow Death has really given them the ability to let them showcase it at its finest.

Six Feet Closer To Hell and Necrotoxic also deliver the same, whilst the tracks might not necessarily pure black metal and only have slight specks of the genre in – it really shines through as a way of demonstrating influence whilst being able to stick to what CARNIFEX are all about and showing that they have their own originality and talent to be able to create something of their own.

Life Fades to a Funeral is etched onto Slow Death straight after the brute forces of Necrotoxic. As an instrumental track, it’s almost as though this track in particular can really lay out the open wounds of depression in front of you. It’s a beautiful piece, it diverts from brutality and fierceness and is a beautiful display of the vulnerability that the mental illness really does hold. For a band that only delivers such power through aggression, it is a moving example also of their own vulnerabilities as a band and offers the most relatability to the fans. Something that CARNIFEX had wanted to do with each and every track on this album.

Immediately after the gentle embrace of Life Fades to a Funeral, all breaks loose with Countess of the Crescent Moon and Servants to the Horde, the finales to Slow Death. After such a display of vulnerability, CARNIFEX really just throw out everything and offer that everything eventually comes from pure strength and power. Something that has been continuously delivered in Slow Death and a fitting way of once again relating to their listeners.

Musically, Slow Death is on form through and through, it’s strong and it’s heavy and at some points, the bands heaviest work yet. However, it is the relatability that has shone through, CARNIFEX have delivered exactly what they set out to do and create a piece of art that is what they’re all about but also giving something to the people that got them in the position that they are now. To be able to put an entire mental illness into an album is truly incredible, it has been tried and tested by many and often worked but only through the deliverance of lyrical content. To be able to do it without that, speaks a thousand more words.

Deathcore is a falling genre, many are forgetting its existence whilst others are moving on, but it is bands like CARNIFEX when they release titans such as Slow Death that keep it alive. The album is stunning from start to finish, and everything that the band wanted to achieve, they have done and more. Slow Death is without a doubt, the deathcore album of 2016.

Rating: 9/10

Carnifex - Slow Death
Slow Death is set for release on August 5 via Nuclear Blast Records.

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Jessica Howkins

Co Editor-in-Chief for Distorted Sound Magazine, Music Journalism student.