Monday, March 17, 2014

Karnivore "In The Halls of the Wicked"

   


(Lake of Fire records)

 Karnivore are a three piece death metal band from Sweden who have suffered a number of line-up changes.  The biggest blow the band suffered was losing a guitarist to cancer.   The present band line up is Martin Holmqvist(vocals),  Jens Englund(guitars/bass), Mattias Johansson(drums).


The band clearly have a huge love of the letter substitution game, which is not only obvious from their chosen handle but that they chose to name their debut album "The Triumphant Khaoz".  However they decided to not play the double V game with their latest platter "In The Halls of The Wicked".  The album opens slowly and quietly with the sound of the wind mixed with synths in "The Underground" and this is soon blown away as Karnivore plunge head first into death metal territory with blast-beats and vocals that edge between audibly clear grunts that verge on singing and much rawer growls.  


   "Feast Upon the Living" originates with a quick and dirty raw death metal sound though later in the song there is a symphonic sound to the guitar, which gives the tune a much cleaner feel.   The thrash metal influence becomes much clearer in "An Era of Decay" as the rhythm section speeds proceedings up somewhat although the vocals are deathly grunts.  "Psycho" alternates between blast-beats, grunts, thrash metal with somewhat clearer death metal style vocals.


Despite a few of the songs blurring together and overstaying their welcome due to their length, "In The Halls of The Wicked" is an enjoyable album.  However, it's hard to shake the feeling that the band is still growing as sometimes the cleaner sound doesn't really work and may end up alienating a number of death metal fans. 


3/5


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