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Carnifex - World War X

World War X
by Jack Harding at 04 September 2019, 6:57 PM

CARNIFEX have eternally remained one of those bands that I simply cannot get into. I am constantly surprised by the levels of hype that they generate especially when other Deathcore acts seem to eclipse them so. However, this is the genre that seems to only be focused around one thing: The breakdowns. Whilst “World War X” is perfectly fine if all you want is the predictable battle cry of a distant china cymbal hit, before repetitive pummeling, it lacks substance that would demand a second listen.

Opening with with a tableau of gunfire, explosions and the crescendo of war drums, seemingly beating in time to marching forces in the near distance, this opening certainly intrigues. CARNIFEX tease a grandiosity that unfortunately never emirates though, as the most painfully cheesy midi strings begin to play. “World War X” aims for epic landscapes of war and fire, with these symphonic leanings, but only conjure the image of a child messing around on GarageBand. What follows is a monotonous wash that acquaints heaviness with having drums drown out every other instrument. This isn’t the perfectly written atmospheric haze you’d find in an EMPEROR or MAYHEM record, this is simply muddy production, that only saps the songs of life. Even on my own referencing monitors this is the case, so this problem cannot be blamed on “cheap headphones”.

Something marketers seem to want to make very clear about this record are the guest spots from Alissa White Gluz of ARCH ENEMY and Angel Vivaldi. Alissa White Gluz appears in single track, “No Light Shall Save Us,” although I wouldn’t blame you for not knowing this if you hadn’t either seen the music video for the track or read the album credits. She is hardly used, and when she is her role could have been filled by absolutely any female vocalist who can hold a tune. This isn’t a criticism of Alissa’s voice, but a criticism of the writing here. The vocal lines she is given are monotonous and entirely uninteresting, acting more like one of the god awful midi strings, than a singer. This is quite clearly a case of the record label wanting to push this record hard; Trying to attach any name to it that has even the slightest name recognition.

Angel Vivaldi’s guest spot on “All Roads Lead To Hell” is also a troublesome one. “All Roads Lead To Hell” is quite possibly this record’s strongest track, removing the failed experimentation with the symphonic, and instead focusing on hard-hitting, grooving riffs. However, after 2 minutes of solid, Deathcore comes Vivaldi’s incredibly brief solo, that feels incredibly out of place. This song did not need a solo, and it most certainly did not need a solo which essentially feels like someone practicing their legato in their bedroom. Angel Vivaldi can obviously write a good solo, with thoughtful lead lines and a wonderful sense of melody, but this is not that. This is unfortunately a waste of a great guitarist, simply done for more name recognition.

This album just lacks passion. The bare minimum of “progression” has been made in order to justify a new record with the increased focus on symphonic elements, but this is quickly abandoned. With a new style introduced and then forgotten about, and forced guest spots, this album ends up feeling simply like a cash grab from a record company. Never before have I heard such an amateur sounding record with this much pedigree behind it. Not since METALLICA’s “Lulu” maybe…

Songwriting: 5/10
Originality: 4/10
Memorability: 4/10
Production: 6/10

2 Star Rating

1. World War X
2. Visions Of The End
3. This Infernal Darkness
4. Eyes Of The Executioner
5. No Light Shall Save Us (ft. Alissa White Gluz)
6. All Roads Lead To Hell (ft. Angel Vivaldi)
7. Brushed By The Wings Of Demons
8. Hail Hellfire
9. By Shadows Thine Held
Scott Ian Lewis - Vocals
Shawn Cameron - Drums
Jordan Lockrey - Guitar
Cory Arford - Guitar
Fred Calderon - Bass Guitar
Record Label: Nuclear Blast


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