Decapitated – Carnival Is Forever

Categories: Reviews
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Published on: July 12, 2011

Back in the day I listened a lot to Decapitated. Their specific branch of technical death metal made quite an impression on me. I pretty much devoured albums like Nihility (2002) and The Negation (2004). At first I wasn’t too fond of Organic Hallucinosis, but over time it grew on me. In 2007 the band was involved in a terrible accident which took the life of drummer Vitek and left vocalist Covan terribly injured. Truth be told I thought Decapitated wouldn’t never return to the fold. Luckily they proved me wrong, because the band is back with a revamped line-up with guitarist/main composer Vogg being the sole original member. More importantly they have a brand new album under their belt, entitled Carnival Is Forever.

On their new album Vogg and Co decided to continue the experimental direction of Organic Hallucinosis and take things to the next level. Don’t be alarmed, it’s not that Decapited are suddenly meddling with gabber beats or trying sound like a second rate Rob Zombie or Marilyn Manson, like Morbid Angel did on their recent abomination. No, Decapited took a deep dive in the world of off-beat tempo changes, unorthodox song arrangements, poly-rhythmic guitar riffs, twisted melodies and other technical niceties. These elements combined with keen songwriting conjures up some truly stunning compositions, such as Homo Sum, 404, A View From A Hole and the mighty title track.

Carnival Is Forever has its fair share of more traditional tracks as well. The Knife, United and Pest are more straightforward in nature, but still contain some deliciously demented guitar riffs. The hardcorish bark by newcomer Rasta is the proverbial icing on the cake and it serves as a welcome beacon through all the musical violence. A special mention should go to the album’s closing track, the aptly titled Silence. This is an instrumental track solely based around a single guitar line. It’s beautiful and haunting in equal measure. A very becoming tribute to Decapitated’s late drummer.

Production-wise there’s nothing to complain Carnival Is Forever. It’s clear and modern sound gives the album the edge it richly deserves.

With Carnival Is Forever Vogg and Co accomplished something truly special, namely being original in an otherwise highly conservative and creatively stagnant genre. Carnival Is Forever is a remarkably fresh and innovative record by one of the best bands in the extreme metal realm. A truly stunning return to form. Welcome back gentlemen!

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