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Carnac – Barren Wastes Of Want Award winner

Barren Wastes Of Want
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 28 March 2022, 8:51 AM

CARNAC is a Turkish black/death metal band who formed in 2014.  “Barren Wastes Of Want,” is their second full length album; they also released an EP in 2015. “Barren Wastes Of Want,” mixes black and death together pretty effectively, creating a fast and furious musical landscape but the album also has a lot of atmosphere. The result is an album that, while abrasive, has a smooth flow from one song to the next. The album’s mix is pretty good too—every instrument can be heard clearly and their sound isn’t too muddled.  With that being said, the volume should have been turned up during production—it is a quiet album, volume wise, so you’ll want to push volume up a little higher here than for a lot of other releases.

Much of the album’s atmosphere comes from the guitars, which makes sense considering how riff based these songs tend to be.  By using the brutality of death metal and lacing it with the cold bleakness of black metal, the band has added a lot of depth to these songs. Burak and Ozan are a powerful duo, indeed.  A special mention goes to bassist Ünal’s drum arrangements, which are fresh and hard hitting as anything else I’ve heard in the genre this year.  Oh, and his bass playing absolutely slaps and I enjoyed following him throughout the songs. Burak’s vocals are about what one would expect for the style but he does a good job and a decent range between a blackened scream and lower growls.  He’s loud and commanding too but not overbearing.

The album begins with the intro track “Prevalance.”  I’m pretty much sick of most intro tracks because they tend to boring, pointless and too short to go anywhere.  However, “Prevalence,” does it right.  It’s length allows it time to grow and add cinematic layers that paint a musical picture before the album even starts.  Other bands should take notes from CARNAC if they want to introduce their album properly.  “Catechesis,” is what a song after such an intro should be—a total banger.  The song rushes through for nearly three minutes, the guitars building up to quite the roaring fury before the tempo changes as the melodic bass shines through. A clean, melodic section accompanies it before the band returns to a heavier format but a little slower and melodic.

The band continues to ramp of their energetic intensity on “Abysmal Ire,” with deftly played blackened riffs.  As great as they are, I can’t get over how goddamn good the bass is on the song.  Fortunately, the guitars aren’t concerned with rapid riffs and inject some groove here and there to piece the song together. The final two tracks, “Waves,” and “Loathing Gaze,” are among the best of the album.  The former, much like its name would suggest, plays out like a big, approaching sound from which there is no escape.  The intricate riffs mix heavier aspects with melodic tinges for a big sound that creates a gravity that pulls everything else around it.   The latter is bass focused, using it as the driving force in which the guitars build their world atop of.  Around the 2:49 mark, a passage of clean notes and thumping bass appears out of the distorted chaos and is a nice respite.  It leads into a slower and melodic section with some catchy lead work.

CARNAC’sBarren Wastes Of Want,” is a nice surprise for me.  It’s extreme ways that manage to incorporate melody and flow without overthinking the process is impressive.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Prevalence
2. Catechesis
3. Vast of Night
4. Abysmal Ire
5. Urlicht
6. Vain
7. Waves
8. Loathing Gaze
Ünal Akünal - Bass, Drum Arrangements
Ozan Turakine - Guitars
Burak Yenitepe - Vocals, Guitars
Record Label: Independent


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