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Decapitated?s ?Carnival Is Forever? Leaves Head Attached After an Albums W

As I walked into KISW’s studio last week, Ian gave me one of the best gifts I could have asked for all summer.

“Hey dude, I just got the new Decapitated! You should do a review of it.”

Carnival Is Forever

I was immediately stoked as I have been asking for this album since I started interning there. I was curious how Decapitated would sound since the departure of their vocalist, Adrian "Covan" Kowanek, original bassist Marcin "Martin" Rygiel, and the tragic death of Witold "Vitek" Kiełtyka, the band’s drummer, co-founder, and brother of the guitarist Wacław "Vogg" Kiełtyka. The task was daunting as I knew I would constantly be thinking about their previous releases.

Carnival Is Forever starts off by instantly stunning the listener into death metal bliss. No lame bull$#17 intro, just fast and in your @$$ death metal. The first track, “The Knife” makes it evident that like previous releases, it will be very riff heavy. The new vocalist, Rafał Piotrowski, has a mid to higher range growl giving a unique twist to the typical guttural death metal vocalist. Drummer Kerim "Krimh" Lechner keeps up with the fast, technical riffs while not being too flashy and taking away from the riff or vocals. The guitar tone is clear and articulate, making the individual picked notes easy to discern, not mashed and lost in the mix. This track also features Vogg’s signature solo style: eerie, fast, and melodic. The solo goes to some unexpected but satisfying places.

The next track, “United” keeps up the pace with being extremely fast and in your face. It has what I like to call a “mechanical” sound. The track features guitar start and stop parts, with the distorted bass playing between, almost giving a Fear Factory feel to it.

By the title track “Carnival Is Forever” something changes - it starts off with clean guitar. This was a change from their previous album, Organic Hallucinosis which featured almost no clean guitar parts. The riff itself gives off a very dark and foreboding sense, which lasts about a minute. After this clean part, the song gets insanely heavy. The guitar riff stays slow and chuggy, while the drums do machine-gun fast double bass, creating an excellent juxtaposition to induce headbanging.

“Homo Sum” brings the album right back up to almost super-sonic metal speed, but also features cool slow Meshugah-like leads, giving off a creepy and twisted vibe.

The album continued to surprise me in new ways I didn’t expect. On track “404” they make a screeching type of noise that adds a new dynamic to the song. This track also features melodic build up parts, making it one of the most interesting and diverse tracks on the album, and includes an awesome drum break which shows how Krimh shreds on the skins.

“A View From A Hole” starts off with another clean guitar intro, much like the title track. But instead of going into a slow chug riff, it keeps the pace and has more of an ambient vibe to it. Then it hits into your riff heavy death metal with spots of dark ambience.

“Pest” I think shows the band off at its best. It has fast death metal riffing, start and stop parts with distorted bass filling the gaps, sour-sounding notes, individually picked ambient sounding guitar parts, floyd rose squeals, and groovy breakdowns. This track to me is what Decapitated is all about.

The album ends with “Silence”, an echo-ey clean guitar instrumental. The track hits notes that sound depressing and dark. This track was the exact opposite of how it started; it's slow, clean, and part finger-picked. After it ended, I was happy and thought that Vitek would be proud. I then immediately hit play again on my CD player to hear the ensuing carnage and metal pleasure.

My complaints are fairly limited, but one complaint I had with the album is sometimes the bass wasn’t as pronounced and present as I would have liked it to be. You could hear it, but really the only time it stuck out was during select parts. Also, if you aren’t a fan of long songs then this album may not be for you. Each track is longer then 4 minutes, so for all you ADD metal heads, you may not be as into this album.

Overall, this album is something the band should be proud of. “Carnival Is Forever” is sure to be one of the best death metal releases of the summer. If you were a fan of the last album, this album will not disappoint.


Until next review, HORNS

- John the Intern

“Carnival Is Forever” will be released on July 12th via Nuclear Blast Records.

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07/01/2011 12:32PM
Decapitated’s “Carnival Is Forever” Leaves Head Attached After an Albums Worth of Headbanging
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