Hailing from Turkey, Technical Death Metal band CARNOPHAGE return from an eight-year hiatus with sophomore album Monument (September 23, Unique Leader Records). This is some truly ripping stuff here; each track knows precisely where to hit you. There are blast beats, but the band never overdoes it. The riffs jackhammer you like a Thai hooker, and the bass rumbles up and down all the songs, as it should. When metal is done right you need to feel it in your guts and your nuts, and that is exactly what happens for much of this record.
“Resistance Against Mind Clouding Heresy” shoves your hand into a high-powered garbage disposal and flicks the switch, giggling maniacally as it does. Leadoff track “Second Genesis” loudly announces that the pummeling will now begin before it manages to beat that ass while keeping the technical side of things going strong. “Same Old Circle” is a stone killer that sounds like it has guest vocals from The Incredible Hulk, especially when vocalist Oral Akyol roars like him.
The sonic bitch-slapping continues with “Unbroken Fortitude” which is also one of the more technical songs on the disc. There were shades of DECEPTIONIST, one of my favorites in the game, that I heard here and there, which was fine by me. “At the Backside of Our Civilization” is hard-hitting, but it also goes off in some different directions. The songs are definitely well-thought out and executed with precision as well as brute force. “Ode to Corruption” is a perfect example of this and an album standout for sure.
Another one I absolutely loved from jump was “Sparks of the Experiment.” The growls are downright unholy and the group is all fired up, as is evidenced by their playing. Closing track “Inertia and Failure” begins with an almost tribal drum sound and some ominous cadence in the vocals, like they’re preparing to sacrifice a virgin to whatever demon they worship at the altar of. All told CARNOPHAGE kicks your ass, and Monument is a very solid record from some guys who, if they seize the momentum properly, will be in the upper echelon of tech death bands before they know it.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Sparks of the Experiment”, “Ode to Corruption”, “Unbroken Fortitude”, “Same Old Circle”