Old school in breeding but stoked by a creative voracity which roars with modern hostility, Cemetery of the Insane, the debut EP from Belgian death metallers Carnation is an introduction all fans of extreme metal will want a slice of. Consisting of six tracks which savage the senses and ignite the imagination, the release has every essential death metal essence in compelling abundance, but twisting them into its own not dramatically original but certainly refreshingly inventive designs. The result is a bestial onslaught to fearfully embrace and greedily devour.
With a name seemingly inspired by The Carnation Massacre, a mass murder occurring on December 24th 2007 near Carnation, Washington, the Heist-op-den-Berg band was formed in 2013 by guitarist Jonathan Verstrepen (Incinerate). Swiftly bringing in bassist Yarne Heylen (Decross), guitarist Bert Vervoort (ex-Decross), vocalist Simon Duson (Prematory), and drummer Morbid (The Reckoning), Carnation set about their intent of bringing old school death to the Belgian metal landscape. Embracing both Swedish and US influences, as merged impressively on Cemetery of the Insane, the band has stepped forward on its back as one new and exciting proposition in not only the Belgian but European extreme metal scene.
The release opens in the dank cellars of Explosive Cadavers, flesh and bone being quietly but openly devoured before the song, with cinematic might, reveals its portentous drama. Once the scene is set, guitars snarl and descend on the senses with instantly contagious and addictive riffery, bait matched potently by the grizzled might of the bass and the sonic grooving holding ears. The track swings along but has greater intimidation and hostility waiting in its air, a threat which frees its restraints for a nastier twist in the nature of the song before entwining both for the rest of the encounter. It is a scintillating start, the excellent vocals of Duson as guttural and insidious as you would wish yet with a quality allowing clarity to the narrative, whilst the venomous rhythms of Morbid take no prisoners whilst casting their anthemic baiting. Similarly the sonic enterprise of the guitars is as invitational as it is corrosive, everything aligning for one virulent insidious persuasion.
The EPs title track is swiftly at the jugular next, Cemetery Of The Insane rampaging with hostile fervour yet also instilling a predatory prowl within its tempestuous walls. The song stalks and seduces the senses with the strong mix of vocals and guitars continuing to impress with just as instinctively barbarous invention. Further lust is dragged from song and appetite by the throaty bass growl and already by this point it is hard not to be enslaved by song and release, especially once the tendrils of sonic colour and the increasingly insatiable torrent of sharp grooves and bruising riffs add their persuasive weight to the temptation.
Both Rituals Of Flesh and Delusions Of Power keep the impressive intensive provocation soaked in venomous and gripping animosity, the first of the two managing to be nastier than those before in touch and sound yet just as imposingly infectious and inventively magnetic. The track almost dances with its rhythmic rabidity and destructive tendencies, revelling in its bloodlust and sonic nagging whilst sculpting a pinnacle for the release. Its successor without quite matching its toxic majesty has its own blistering sonic tapestry of raw riffs, spiky grooves, and bass predation to share, resulting in another seriously enthralling and incendiary ravaging to thoroughly enjoy.
The Great Deceiver closes things off; it’s more restrained and sonically colourful entrance the scenery to oppressing shadows and subsequently, a torrent of abrasing riffs and searing melodic endeavour. As the excellent final foraging of ears and psyche shows, though tracks may not surprise with knee buckling effect there is a great unpredictable trait to them which keeps the listener intrigued and unsure of what is on the encounter’s near horizon.
Definitely a must for all with a taste for the likes of Entombed, Dismember, Gorguts, Autopsy, and Entrails amongst many, Cemetery Of The Insane should be heading all must check out lists.
Cemetery Of The Insane will be available through Final Gate Records digitally and on CD/vinyl from February 6th via https://finalgaterecords.bandcamp.com
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