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Carnifex – Graveside Confessions Award winner

Graveside Confessions
by Thomas Kumke at 15 November 2021, 11:15 PM

CARNIFEX hailing from San Diego, California were formed in 2005 and the blackened Deathcore legends have amassed an impressive discography consisting of three EPs and now eight full-length albums. In 2020, the band parted ways with their guitarist Jordan Lockrey and Cory Arford took over the lead guitar parts on the album. “Graveside Confessions” was produced, mixed, and mastered by Mick Kenney at The Barracks Studio, Huntington Beach and it was recorded by drummer Shawn Cameron at Black Lounge Studio, San Diego. The album was released via German label Nuclear Blast and it has a length of almost 64 minutes.

CARNIFEX do what they do best on “Graveside Confessions”: they provide a mixture of dark and aggressive guitar riffing, blast-beat outbursts, breakdowns, brutal growls and screams, as well as playing doomy melodies and creating the right atmosphere to it. It basically sounds like a CARNIFEX album, but the sound is more bombastic, more aggressive, the songs are longer, and with a playing time of more than one hour, the new album has almost the double length of any other of their albums. The onslaught starts with the title song which sets the scene with sharp guitar riffs at mid-tempo, hammering blast-beats, down-tempo parts, and growling vocals and screams that cover most of the guttural range. “Graveside Confessions” has a grim sound which is intensified by the organ parts. The song was officially released as video and the YouTube link is given below.

If you think, the title track comes from the darkest part of the Universe, then “Pray For Peace”. Coming straight from the abyss, the track is one of the highlights on the album, especially due to the chilling atmosphere which fits perfectly to the brutality of the sound. “Seven Souls” maintains the atmosphere built in “Pray For Peace”, but adds more melancholic melodies, Black Metal vibes, and more tempo changes. The Black Metal inspired sound continues in “Cursed” and especially in “Carry Us Away” which follows a relatively simple structure and includes a catchy riffing, as well as epic and dark melodies. The use of the synthesizers is spot on during the right parts of the track.

January Nights” is an instrumental interlude at the mid-point of the record which may come a bit as a surprise, but the rather quiet track is followed by the Deathcore assault in “Cemetery Wander” which is a bludgeoning fest at highest level with numerous tempo switches, breakdowns, blast-beat sequences, brutal growls and screams. Tracks like “Cemetery Wander”, “Countess Of Perpetual Torment” and partially “Cold Dead Summer” are more straight-forward Deathcore tracks without the blackened atmosphere of the preceding tracks. “Cold Dead Summer” at least goes back to a more melancholic atmosphere during some parts of the song. With “Alive For The Last Time”, there is a final short highlight of the album in terms of the aggression level, the powerful riffing, the hammering drums, and the melodies. The album also contains with “Dead Bodies Everywhere” a KOЯN cover which is very well arranged. The last three songs were all re-recorded from the first full-length album “Dead In My Arms” and are a treat for all life-long CARNIFEX fans.

CARNIFEX deliver an excellent new album which has got everything, the Deathcore fan could possibly ask for. “Graveside Confessions” especially wins over with a perfect balance of brutal Death Metal, Deathcore, and Black Metal elements, creating a unique sound. Another strength of “Graveside Confessions” is the maturity in songwriting which gives CARNIFEX the edge as a Deathcore band. The album is very well produced. CARNIFEX set the bar very high with “Graveside Confessions” and the album belongs in every collection of Death Metal, Deathcore, and blackened Death Metal fans.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Graveside Confessions
2. Pray For Peace
3. Seven Souls
4. Cursed
5. Carry Us Away
6. Talk To The Dead
7. January Nights
8. Cemetery Wander
9. Countess Of Perpetual Torment
10. Dead Bodies Everywhere
11. Cold Dead Summer
12. Alive For The Last Time
13. Collaborating Like Killers (Graveside Edition)
14. My Heart In Atrophy (Graveside Edition)
15. Slit Wrist Savior (Graveside Edition)
Scott Ian Lewis – Vocals
Cory Arford – Guitars
Shawn Cameron – Drums
Fred Calderon – Bass
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records


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