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Carnal Agony - Back from the Grave Award winner

Carnal Agony
Back from the Grave
by Quinten Serna at 07 September 2020, 8:25 AM

Perhaps of a condition that is strikingly more autobiographical than it is imaginative, “Back From The Grave” is too well written to go without notice—CARNAL AGONY is now in their 9th year and couldn’t be any stronger, where earlier this year we were teased with the grandeur of “Werewolf Of Steel” now we have the full album in accompaniment.

The Rebirth” commences the album contained within the composition is a clean progression which seamlessly feeds into the first track of the album to contain the full ensemble of the band, “Back From The Grave.” The song is full of transitions, dynamics, metaphors, and stark changes wherein there exists little in the realms of “sameness” the song is almost a rhapsody due to the sheer amount of differential parts which is, in short, purely amazing—made even more inspiring when one considers the song is 3 minutes in length. “The Witching Hour” starts with a full rhythm band played in tandem with synth leads, the chorus is quick and unapologetic making it brash and having the appearance of coming out of nowhere, yet never once does it feel forced  or coerced, having an effect, appeal, and sound similar to early days CARNIVORE.

Werewolf Of Steel,” one of the band’s two singles, is by far one of the campiest songs I’ve ever heard and now will probably stay somewhere near the back of my mind reminding me of the band and their music long after this review is published. “For The Horde” contains a much grittier sound to it—both in chorus and progression—and invokes visceral headbanging as a result of its intensity. The second of the previously released singles, “Love Will Tear You Apart” starts up with instrumentation and a synth similar to a brass fanfare; the song tells the story of the speaker falling in love with a vampire and his attempt to justify such a decision, which is (after my previous statement) probably the second most campy song I’ve ever heard. The fastest track on the album, “Raise The Dead,” begins with a full band assault and underscored solo played beneath the rhythm, the unapologetic progression erodes at the senses captivating the listener in the process.

The instrumentation, lyricism, and composition of the album is something incredible, something which invokes inspiration as much as it does headbanging, the sheer interwoven intensity of the instruments is something which cannot be overstated. The guitars are expertly balanced and performed containing both gritty and guttural rhythms as well as transcendent and blazing leads; the bass is a powerhouse force driving the songs; the drums have a large feel and a tight sound all at the same time; and the vocals have in iridescent sound to them transitioning between loud, heavy, gritty, and smooth with little effort never once standing out against the instruments.

The album is captivating on a whole different level, being composed of elements not usually ascribed to Thrash or Power Metal, and yet completely familiar all the same. Perhaps the most impressive feature is that the album contains 2 of the campiest tracks I’ve ever heard, on the same album nonetheless. This album would fit well into any gothic, horror, or headbanging collection and is well worth anyone’s attention with an affinity for any of the three.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Rebirth
2. Back From The Grave
3. The Cellardoor
4. The Witching Hour
5. Werewolf Of Steel
6. Luna
7. For The Horde
8. Love Will Tear You Apart
9. Higher
10. The Nightmare Never Stops
11. Bane Of The Light
12. Raise The Dead
13. The Ascension
Lineup:
Mathias Wallin – Bass, Guitars, and Keyboards
Pär-Olof Persson – Guitars
David Johagen – Vocals
Record Label: Independent
     


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