Die Without Hope
03 March 2014
by Gavin Lloyd
Let’s get one thing straight: metal is silly. Come on, it is. Right now, bickering online over the best Pig Destroyer album or what brand of face paint makes the best corpse paint might seem very important, but in time all you greebos will look back at yourselves and laugh at how ridiculous it all is. Well, I hope so anyway.
It’s a fact that has been gleefully embraced by some of deathcore’s biggest success stories. See The Black Dahlia Murder’s lolz videos, or Thy Art Is Murder front man CJ McMahon organising crowd surfing races for a fiver while stood on stage in flip flops and a North Face jacket. This sort of happy go lucky attitude surges its way through Carnifex’s cheerily titled new album, Die Without Hope.
Oh wait, it doesn’t at all.
When I was at school one of my friends changed the title on our blackboard from ‘The Cuban Missile Crisis’ to ‘The Cuban Nipple Crisis’ despite being hilarious it only provoked a steely look from our history teacher. It’s this sort of no-nonsense approach poe-faced metal beefcake Scott Lewis and his cohorts take. No fun, thanks; we take our breakdowns and grunting very seriously.
That produces some mixed results. While the crunch of ‘Rotten Souls’ and the bouncy ‘Hatred and Slaughter’ prove a mastery of the genre, more often than not songs slip into generic deathcore checklists. It may be enough to get the crowds moshing on their recent appearance on the Impericon tour, but seeing as that was a tour headlined by Emmure, the majority of the audience would mosh to the sound of their mums doing the hoovering, as long as someone had doodled tattoos all over Henry with a marker pen.
Credit where it’s due though – when things do get silly on the album is when some of the best results are produced. The sort of piano tinkling on ‘Dark Days’ may be the sort of thing you expect to hear in the background when you pop round Dani Filth’s for a cup of tea and cake, yet it adds some welcome atmospherics to the song. While the moody interlude of ‘Reflection of the Forgotten’ offers the sort of pomp to make tr00 metal fans stop painting their Warhammer figures and take note.
There may be nothing wrong with taking metal seriously per se, but it’s when Carnifex embrace the genre’s more ridiculous nuances that they become other than just another angry scene band. It’s this sense of grandiose combining with the dark and nasty side of their music that produces the best results. I just can’t help but think it’s missing something that could have been realised if the band stuck on a couple of Michael McIntyre DVDs while recording.
Standout Tracks: Rotten Souls, Hatred and Slaughter, Where the Light Dies
Sounds Like: Thy Art Is Murder, Suicide Silence, The Black Dahlia Murder