Sunday, January 22, 2012

Carnifex - The Diseased and the Poisoned

2006 was the year that I was fully introduced to deathcore. Although the amount of deathcore bands in my collection didn't rapidly expand until 2008 when I heard All Shall Perish’s Awaken the Dreamers, there were a handful of deathcore bands I had already been listening to for a little under two years. Those bands were Suicide Silence, Despised Icon, Bring me the Horizon, Lamb of God, Whitechapel, and Carnifex. Now most of these hadn't even released their first full-length albums when I discovered them, giving me that happy feeling that I’m one of their “true” fans since I've been listening to them since they first started. Carnifex is not a traditional deathcore band though. They stuff a lot of other sounds in their music.

Deathcore is a mix of metalcore and death metal. Sometimes it’s just really heavy metalcore, sometimes it’s just death metal with extreme breakdowns, and sometimes it’s a perfect mix of the two. Carnifex isn’t all the way on one end or perfectly in the middle, but they’re more on the death metal side of things. So if you’re looking for a deathcore band that has a lot more death metal than metalcore, Carnifex will end your search. Unfortunately, I didn’t really get into them until this album was released because their debut was good, but not really that impressive. The Diseased and the Poisoned is where they decided to step up and crush their listeners until they were satisfied. And I’ll tell you what; they certainly crushed me beyond satisfaction.

A good deathcore album always has good breakdowns; isn’t that practically 60% of the genre’s definition? Although it is very possible to overdo the breakdown like other bands have done like Emmure, Suffokate, and Meshuggah; Carnifex implements a perfect amount of breakdowns that keeps the crowd happy. I do think that they should have added a bass boom at the beginning of a few of their breakdowns to make them sound more extreme and goddamn serious.

The vocalist is amazing. He primarily does death growls that remind me of David Vincent, and has an underdeveloped scream that he ends up perfecting in 2011. His stories of apocalyptic destruction and atheistic-based hate have the ability to paralyze the minds of any helpless Christian that happens to come across his words. Known as one of the darkest and angriest deathcore bands, Carnifex have been reaching their arms above the surface of the deep trenches of the underground metal scene to become one of the most prolific and true deathcore bands alive today. Carnifex has never gone downhill, and this album is just the beginning.

The guitar distortion is REALLY deep and has loads of crunch to obliterate the eardrums of their audience. The drumming is the exact opposite of the stereotypical “blast beat, breakdown, repeat” deathcore drummer. He always has extra tricks under his skin to surprise you with when you are expecting something less impressive. Even though it’s obvious that a bassist is present due to the unrelenting amount of bass, I can’t hear the bass guitar unless I really concentrate and block everything else out; which is obviously not something that I want to have to do every time I listen to this album.

There are a lot of really brutal bands that only sound brutal when you see them live. This is mainly due to low production quality and the choice of distortions and effects in the studio. Ever wonder why Suicide Silence and Whitechapel sound so brutal? It’s mainly because the guitar distortion is extremely loud and crunchy and because they have the bass practically dominate everything else. If you did that to this album, you probably wouldn’t be able to listen to this album and come out in one piece. I can see that you don’t believe me, so go see them in concert and try to live through the moshpit AND THEN tell me that I’m wrong.

I don’t really have a favorite song off this album because unfortunately, the songs sound too similar to the point to where I can’t really tell them apart. This is an album that is great to listen to as a whole, but not one where someone can easily say “That song is my favorite!” This is my second favorite Carnifex album next to Hell Chose Me. I would highly recommend this to loyal deathcore fans and anyone who has been searching for a deathcore band with loads of death metal packed inside. I would give this album 15/20.