Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Decapitated - Carnival is Forever


I was browsing around on Metal Injection and found a YouTube video that had been recently posted that was a mish-mash of all the songs off the new Decapitated album. The video consisted of 30-second clips of each song that tore through my speakers with pure anger and rage. I immediately called my friend Tristen and said “YOU HAVE TO HEAR THIS!!” His only response was “Holy Balls…” It was at that moment when I knew that Decapitated had presented an album that was so impressive to me that I finally said that they deserve the credit they’ve gotten. The only thing that would make me say that is if this album is flawless…which it is. I would also like to pay my respects to this band for living through all of the shit they’ve been going through over the past five years.

Starting with the difficult departure of their original vocalist, the next five years would end up being rough for the band. In 2007, the band got in an automobile crash that killed the drummer and left their vocalist in a coma. While the guitarist was transported back to Poland (as well as the rest of the band), the band decided to disband to let everyone recover from the traumatic events. During the hiatus, Vogg played the guitar for the Polish death metal band Vader on their 2009 masterpiece Necropolis as well as participating as a live member during the tour that supported the album.

In early 2010, Vogg put together a completely new lineup and got a record deal with Nuclear Blast (which was when I found out about them). They then started touring the world for the rest of the year including the 2010 Summer Slaughter Tour where I didn’t see them (I’ll explain why later in the review). During the late months of the year, Decapitated finalized their new songs and entered the studio in early 2011 and soon released Carnival is Forever in July.

The Knife is nothing but an utter explosion of madness and fury; releasing the horde to leap at you out of your speakers. Being in the middle of the moshpit during this song would be considered by some to be nothing short of suicide. But right when you think it’s over, the powerful bass from the kick drums in the beginning of United continues the bombardment of your ears. Continuing on for over half an hour until the beginning of the track known as Silence starts playing to start the relaxation process to help you recover from the beautiful apocalypse that hit your ears.

Now let’s talk about the lineup on this album. Their new vocalist sounds almost exactly like the vocalist from Demon Hunter. He has that growl that’s not really even a true growl because it’s too high-pitched and it doesn’t have enough of a rough texture to it. It would actually sound very good in a thrash metal band (still something I’m looking for but haven’t found yet). Although there is still quite a bit of Meshuggah influence throughout the album (you can tell because the guitarist is wearing a Meshuggah shirt in one of the promo photos for this album), the album is 92% Decapitated. The guitar distortion has a similar sound to that of Organic Hallucinosis, it has a much more controlled sound and is less high-pitched, therefore more pleasant to the eardrums. The kick drums have A LOT OF BASS, if you have subwoofers on your stereo, turn them up a bit and play this record to experience the punch that they put out. Although the bass guitar sound is overpowered by the guitars, you can tell it’s there because how else would the album have so much damn bass?

I also feel that it is necessary for me to admit the pathetic fact that even though I have been to two Decapitated concerts, I have never seen Decapitated play live. In other words, I ended up leaving before they came on; and not only that, I ended up leaving after the band before them finished playing! Now before you attack me, I want to tell you that it was only on purpose the first time at the 2010 Summer Slaughter Tour; I wasn’t at all familiar with them, I only had one album and didn’t really think much of it, and I had just seen ten other death metal bands and I was bushed. The second time was when they were touring to support this album, I was there with my friends Jacob and Christian. So after Decrepit Birth finished their set (my fourth time seeing them), Jacob and I wanted to stay because of the guilt we felt for abandoning Decapitated at the Summer Slaughter show. But then I got a text from Jacob’s mom saying “I’m waiting outside.” So that time, we didn’t have a choice, so before I left I bought a Decapitated wristband so that I wouldn’t feel as guilty; so that I felt that I at least contributed to them in some form. I do promise that the next time I go to a Decapitated concert that I WILL SEE DECAPITATED.

Overall, this album is perfection, there is nothing I would do to change it and would love to see Decapitated release another album exactly like this, and then release another one that shows further progression (it’s ok to have two albums that sound exactly the same as long as you change the sound on the third one to show that you have decent creative abilities). My favorite song off the record is 404, although the entire record is mind-blowing. I would give this 20/20.