I discovered Carnophage on some random site that advertised underground technical death bands. This is where I found some other tech death groups like Slaughtery and Arkhum (both of which I’ve written reviews on). But to be honest, most of the newer technical death bands I’ve been discovering recently have been pretty mediocre. Probably the best NEW ones I’ve heard are Cerebric Turmoil, Dystrophic, and Rings of Saturn. Other than that (and a few others), the newer tech death scene (especially the European section) seems to have grown pretty tasteless. But right now, I’m getting ready to review an album by the Turkish technical death band Carnophage. On the plus side, though, the album cover was done by my favorite visual artist; Par Olofsson (who did the covers for Planetary Duality, Incurso, Majesty and Decay, All Shall Fall, and countless other records).
One of the things that REALLY brings this album way down and makes it extremely hard to enjoy is how it was produced. Especially how the guitars sound..eww. The guitars were either extremely under-produced or extremely overproduced. After listening to this album for almost four months, it’s starting to sound like every aspect of the record had WAY too much production work done on it. There’s almost no bass at all; even the bass guitar is high-pitched, just listen to the bass solo in the beginning of Bone Nails. The song structure in the album seems a bit too jumbled and unorganized. I have a hard time keeping up with the seemingly random song structure (which there isn’t really at all).
It seems like these guys are making an honest attempt at creating an EXTREMELY complex skeleton for their sound. The cool thing is, they succeeded in doing so, but it’s way too random an unorganized. It’s like they just made complex music for the sake of being extremely complex. Just like how when Rings of Saturn first started out, they were technical literally for the sake of being TECHNICAL! It’s the same idea, but it doesn’t sound good. I can’t keep up with the music’s tempo because it changes too fast and too often. I just can’t get past the fact of how unorganized and overly-complex these guys made this album.
Ok, besides all that, this album checks out. All of the musicians have plenty of talent and technical skill. My favorite part is that the bassist is the best musician in the group. In my favorite song on the record, Bone Nails, the guitarists start out by taking the lead. Then, everything goes quiet and the bassist starts playing the lick that ends up being the main structure that drives the rest of the song. Bone Nails is a surprisingly slow song considering the amount of technicality and complexity it carries. Although the drummer (who is REALLY quiet and hard to hear) is going absolutely mad in the background, the guitars (which drown everything out) make the song seem much slower because they’re not doing constant high-pitched shredding.
That just reminded me of a unique trait that Carnophage has. The technicality in the guitars isn’t super high-pitched like Brain Drill and Rings of Saturn, but not super low like Fleshgod and Severed Crotch. Instead, 90% of the technicality lies more in the mid-ranges, which isn’t something that you hear very often in the genre. I’m giving this record a 10/20 and would only recommend it to easily-impressed technical death fans.