Since the release of previous album Emma Green in 2018, German metallers FALL OF CARTHAGE have been relatively quiet, the confinement of pandemic grip no doubt an oppressive factor. Now though, the band has returned to challenge and blister the senses with their fourth album, and fair to say that the band more than makes up for lost time.
Drawn Into Madness unleashes a sound described as modern metal, meaning it is eclectically bold and unpredictable and a proposition embroiling the choice essences of genres such as death, thrash and heavy metal with crossover and groove metal adventure. Within their new offering, the threesome of band founders, guitarist/bassist Arkadius Antonik (Suidakra) and vocalist/lyricist Sascha Aßbach, and drummer Ken Jentzen spring a tempest of sound and emotive dispute upon ears, from its first breath irritability, brutality and dexterity prime voracity and never slipping in its intensity across eight slabs of uncompromising trespass and incitement.
The album opens with Sesame Seeds and immediately we felt it worming under the skin as toxic grooves united with senses whipping rhythms. In no time, it is taking creative swings at its victim, vocals as attitude and enterprise dispute loaded eddies of sound within a similarly ravenous body. Setting the character of the release, the track equally twists and turns bringing fresh threat and invention throughout. Venomously contagious and voraciously bloody-minded, it is a striking and compelling start to the release swiftly matched in both by its successor
Slipping Through The Wall similarly tunnelled deep, grooved rhythms and barbarous riffs shaping the subsequent prowl and antipathy of the track. Blastbeats and melodic intrigue only add to the often kaleidoscopic nature of the song, a mercurial prowess matched by Aßbach’s vocal harassment, one as catchy and belligerent as the sounds around him.
His delivery again lights up True Oblivion, creating a duet and conversation between the sinister and the ferocious within a landscape of invention as tenebrific as it is pitiless and compelling. That unpredictability is rife; the band’s imagination a rich core in their sound and here weaving a creative web as gripping as the inner turmoil within the song while next up Dug Under springs predatory intent with rapacious enterprise and blistering causticity. Equally, melodic vines also vein the beast to offer respite and new dilemma for contemplation, both songs adding new peaks to the already lofty landscape of the album.
Such heights are again preyed upon by Smell Of The Oak, a sludgy infringement adding to its heavy metal bred cauldron before Cause Of My Death courts rawer, corrosive inclinations in its own disquieting and menacing stalking of the senses and imagination. Fiendish in its predatory calm and sadistic in its raucous uproars, the track proved another addiction gatherer; the invention and unpredictability of the both songs again stirring the imagination like sonic puppeteers.
The final pair of the militant Bloodwater and Absurd Formulae with its muscular swing and raptorial prowl brings the album to a thunderous conclusion. The first unleashes a cyclonic surge of barbarous emotion and dexterity while the final track epitomises the power, ingenuity and individuality of Drawn Into Madness as a whole; a release resourceful in touch, fierce in voice and rabidly enlivening for one of the year’s must explorations.
Drawn Into Madness is out now via MDD Records; available @ https://fallofcarthage.bandcamp.com/album/drawn-into-madness
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Pete RingMaster 07/10/2022
Copyright RingMaster Review
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