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Carcolh - The Life and Works Of Death

The Life and Works Of Death
by Eric Poulin at 22 March 2021, 1:34 PM

CARCOHL is a doom metal band based out of Bordeaux, France formed back in 2016. This is their second full-length album entitled “The Life and Works of Death” released on Sleeping Church Records on February 19th, 2021. The loud guitars that are the backbone of “From Dark Ages They Came” sounds like something right out of the EVOKEN catalogue with a tinge of PARADISE LOST. The song just sounds grim and sinister and the very slow tempo adds those layers of thickness and depth. The guitars are not one-dimensional as the chugging riffs have a completely different sound from the distorted ones at the beginning of the song. The vocals of Sébastien Fanton sound like a mix between ALCEST and ISOLE and while he does not go too high pitch, he can really hold his own on those higher notes (often doubled) and add a bit of a raspy aspect for good measure. As has been the trend with doom, the solos never go overboard and just accompany the rest of the music without casting a shadow over the rest.

“Works of Death” does not start the same way, it has more of a distant guitar sound that slowly fades in, but when the main riff starts, it really is a killer that reminded me how much I missed SOLITUDE AETERNUS. The added effects in the songs are also a nice touch, when matched with the great riffs. The song has all the makings of being a single and if you recall how much I love the band SORCERER, this on par with their material, it is that damn good. The album has very lengthy epic songs that are over 10 minutes, with the first one being “The Blind Goddess” which has a very massive tone and is probably one of the most immersive songs on the album, not only because of its duration, but how it reels you in with such a powerful sound. I make the parallels a lot to NEUROSIS who have mastered that art for 3 decades, but it is a difficult art to master, and this track does it perfectly. The second epic entitled “Sepulchre” which also happens to be the album closer does share some traits with the other long number, but I find it much more melodramatic and channels the almighty gods of such sadness and melancholy, MY DYING BRIDE, while maintaining their key signature elements and overall musical approach.

The doom genre as everyone knows has exploded and continues to evolve every year with bands adding a ton of sub-genres and influences in their music, but there are also bands who keep it vintage, rely on nostalgia and keep it more barebones. That is the case with CARCOLH which has those nods to CANDLEMASS and the other legendary bands I mentioned above, yet with how the vocals are sung, the band manages to be different from those icons and does an amazing job at conveying the emotions that are the D.N.A of the genre. If you have enjoyed bands like SORCERER and ISOLE over the last few releases, you will love this album.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. From Dark Ages They Came
2. Works of Death
3. The Blind Goddess
4. When the Embers Light the Way
5. Aftermath
6. Sepulchre
Quentin Aberne - Guitars
Benoît Senon - Drums
Olivier Blanc - Guitars
Sébastien Fanton - Vocals
Mathieu Vicens - Bass
Record Label: Sleeping Church Records


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