Monday, 4 August 2014

Album Review; Benighted - Carnivore Sublime

Track Listing:

1. X2Y
2. Noise
3. Experience Your Flesh
4. Slaughter/Suicide
5. Spit (Feat. Niklas Kvarforth)
6. Defiled Purity
7. Jekyll
8. Collection Of Dead Portraits
9. Carnivore Sublime
10. Les Morsures Du Cerbere
11. June and the Laconic Solstice (feat. Michael Kern)

The word "Brutality" gets thrown around a lot, but usually all it means is that the album runs constantly at a level of heaviness that even some Metalheads would call unlistenable. Here's the issue though; ten songs that run at a constant show themselves to be tiresome more than anything else, because they lack any sort of dynamic. Without that ebb and flow of musical or emotional variation, what you end up with is stale, ineffective and frankly boring.
'Carnivore Sublime' is not one such album.

From the opening blast of 'X2Y', the gauntlet is thrown down with chaos and huge riffs. This song leads straight into the hook-filled 'Noise'; which establishes that the latest of Benighted's albums takes a lot of influence from Deathcore. That's not to say that the band have turned into a Deathcore band; what it means is that the Frenchmen have incorporated a lot of groove and a decent helping of breakdowns to their Brutal Death Metal sound. It is a different writing style heard here rather than that on 'Asylum Cave', and it may be divisive to fans of the band. This would be a mishap in my opinion, as this record is just as potent as it's predecessor.

The sudden changes in vocal styles between basic screams to throat churning growls and immensely powerful pig squeals, alongside equally as abrupt tempo changes accompany the themes of psychoses that the band write about. 'Experience Your Flesh' shows this brilliantly, before 'Slaughter/Suicide' comes in with all the catchiness of any other band, but still displaying an insane musical palette.

'Spit' features the disturbing talents of Shining frontman Niklas Kvarforth, who fits in with the disturbing nature of Benighted like a glove on a hand. The song itself is strong, too. 'Collection Of Dead Portraits' continues to deliver hooks that you could hang a carcass from. The title track takes a detour into quieter moments that were clearly intended to build tension, but can seem rather unnecessary considering the insane dynamic nature of the album thus far.

Ultimately, last couple of tracks on the record are not as engaging as the rest, but they are not bad songs as such, and so it's really only the flow of the album that can suffer slightly towards the end, but as a whole, this is a strong effort. The first half of the album is so choke-full of truly brilliant songs that it can't really be brought down very far. It'll be open to debate whether this record is as good as 'Icon' or 'Asylum Cave', as well as where else Benighted may take their sound, but this will certainly be one of the most brutal albums you hear in 2014.

Rating: 8/10

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