Carnation – Cemetery of the Insane

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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 carnationand 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

https://www.facebook.com/CarnationBE

RingMaster 05/02/2015

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Need To Breathe: The Reckoning

It is fair to say that even if US rock band Need To Breathe does not send your senses into raptures or even enthused passion, they are a band one can easily appreciate in regard to their qualities and skilled craft. The same can be said about their fourth album The Reckoning, a release full of excellently crafted and delivered songs brought with passion and heart dealt energy. We cannot say the release left us excited and soaked in any lingering presence due to personal tastes but it certainly was a decent listen throughout with its southern rock invention and in a couple of moments a more than satisfying companion.

     The Reckoning gets its UK release September 10th and seems sure to follow the great success it had back home upon its arrival last November. The South Carolina quartet has already made a mark through their previous releases and hearty rock sounds, which bring essences of the newer Kings of Leon music and Mumford & Sons into their own climactic stadium rock sounds. Just off of a six month tour of the US, the foursome of brothers Bear and Bo Rinehart (vocals, guitar, piano and guitar, backing vocals respectively), Seth Bolt (bass, backing vocals), and Joe Stillwell (drums, backing vocals), follow up their acclaimed previous album of 2009 The Outsiders, with fourteen big boned sky filling songs which persistently drip with soulful and emotive imagination. Yes for us the style does not light raging fires but for those loving the earthy American drama of a Springsteen and arguably Tom Petty as well as those previously mentioned Need To Breathe and The Reckoning will have their ardour sparking greedily.

Easily the best track on the album opens things up and it is a song which instantly captivates. From its initial dulled melody and emotive vocals Oohs And Ahhs has the ear in close attendance and mesmerised, but when the chorus breaks loose to sizzle upon the senses passions, for arguably the only time on the album, go soaring. In to its stride the track is a hearty forceful rock song to leave anyone breathless and caught up in the moment. Midway in the song take a brief respite before rekindling its energy and building up to a fiery crescendo which has grins breaking out everywhere. The mischievous track then repeats the event though this time the stride towards the flaming ending is tinged with stirring brass and discord driven keys. It is simply a stunning track which the album for personal tastes fails to repeat again.

The following White Fences and Drive All Night stretch their melodic wings to bring expressive depths to their soulful breaths, both finding an energy and tension which evokes thoughts and feelings. The songs of Need To Breathe are not necessarily faith driven but do bring a moral touch to their strong lyrical content though importantly it can also be interpreted into the lives of all.

Songs like Slumber, Maybe They’re On To Us, and Wanted Man, as well as the title track, all wrap around the heart with rousing and in their individual gaits, stomping anthemic majesty. As we said at the start there is no missing the quality and accomplished invention of the band let alone their ability to wring every emotion and passion out of every note and line, and for those receptive to their Americana/Southern rock songs it is hard to imagine anything other than deep pleasure gained from The Reckoning.

The other big highlight for us came with the newest single Keep Your Eyes Open, a song which takes inspirational and stirring sounds and songwriting to their fullest expansive heights. You can argue how original the song is with nothing openly surprising going on but it is hard to recall any rock song which has sparked the heart into reflective and eager life as potently.

If Southern rock/Americana is your brew to hungrily feast upon than The Reckoning will leave you full to the brim, and to be honest even if it is not your preference, the album and Need To Breathe is still worth an hour of your time to be sure.

http://needtobreathe.net/

RingMaster 08/09/2012

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