CARNIFEX, one of the bands to help shape the deathcore genre is back with a new album. World War X (out now, Nuclear Blast Records) is a compilation of decent deathcore songs with a fair mix of breakdowns, melodies and some symphonic or black metal influences. The new released just dropped in the middle of one of the biggest tours that North America has to offer: Summer Slaughter, which serves as a good platform to strengthen the presence that the San Diego band has in the scene.
The first track, “World War X” is a great song to start the new record. It has a little bit of suspense and some seconds later, the hard-hitting riffs are dropped like a bomb right in your face. “Visions of the End” wastes no time to continue with the chaos; this song offers another set of heavy and consistent riffs to continue the headbanging session. “This Infernal Darkness” brings back the calm before building back some more momentum on those face-hitting riffs. The pre-chorus turns a bit melodic, but it provides good company to the rhythm. So far, it looks like CARNIFEX didn’t change much in comparison to their last release, Slow Death.
“Eyes Of The Executioner” has a much heavier start than the others, with deeper vocals. Still an enjoyable track with no surprises. A pleasant guest is included in “No Light Shall Save Us” which was also the first song released featuring vocals by Alissa White-Gluz from ARCH ENEMY. She is pretty much the right woman to provide some brutality to this band. The track is on the experimental side, but it came out acceptable. “All Roads Lead to Hell” is a song that features the work of Angel Vivaldi, a talented and young guitar player that produced the clean solo in this heavy track.
The last stretch of the album features “Brushed By The Wings Of Demons” which tends to be also a more harmonic song that combines the melodic tunes with some heavy stuff. It goes back and forth between the two just like most of the other songs that we’ve heard so far. “Hail Hellfire” contains some on-point growls and feels like it gets slower every time, with the inclusion of the characteristic breakdowns that the band loves to do. The last song “By Shadows Thine Held” includes some complex drum work with a short introduction to end things on a high note with the typical CARNIFEX sound.
World War X received a fair amount of promotion from the band and the record label, but it feels like it’s a continuation of their previous release. The band doesn’t necessarily have to reinvent the wheel every time they release anything, but sometimes it’s good to hit the “play” button on any song and wonder what the hell is going on (in a good way). The album is good, but I wouldn’t put it in the upper pantheon CARNIFEX’S heavier, darker and better albums. But I’d still go and check them play some of these songs live for sure.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “World War X”, “Visions of the End”, “No Light Shall Save Us”, “All Roads Lead to Hell”