Carnifex – “Die Without Hope” (Nuclear Blast Records)
Close to 10 years on, it didn’t look for a while that Carnifex were gonna continue having announced a hiatus after 7 years of relentless touring! Thankfully Nuclear Blast stepped in and personally I feel the band are better placed on a pedigree metal label rather than on an admittedly reputed hardcore one in Victory. It would seem that the break allowed Carnifex to find their feet big time in the song writing dept with probably some of their best and certainly deepest material on this 5th album. Previously playing deathcore, “Die Without Hope” sees them moving more into the melodic death arena, employing dual screamo / growl vocals alongside brutal bending riffs and some blurring technical drumming on tracks like ‘Dark Days’, ‘Last Words’ and ‘Where The Light Dies’. Despite the gloomy titles, there is a fair amount of melody smartly laced around the fringes of each track, graced with some occasional piano and even orchestral samples adding some differential flair without detracting from the band’s core sound and aggressive style. I would say this is a very well thought out album with the solid material being intelligently arranged alongside a liberal use of classy soloing, sweep picking techniques and plenty of wang interference necessitating in no fillers whatsoever. Overall, this is a smart business move for these San Diego deathsters who may have jumped over to pastures slightly anew, but it’s not for having not paid their dues over the years, and they continue to be a top rated crew at least in my book.