Sometimes, a genre is better in its purest form. Death metal especially can benefit from bands just focusing on being a death metal band, and performing the music at a high level. Lik is a band that does this, and while their music isn’t perfect, it shows just what the genre can be stripped of anything it doesn’t need. Their new album “Carnage” released on May 4th, and is the band doing what they do best. “To Kill” starts this album off, and does so with a nice riff. The fast pace mixed with the tight writing allow for the band to start off on the right foot. The production is worth mentioning as well. It’s rough, and while I can see some people not being a big fan of it, it fits the music in such a way that it helps bolsters the dirty, violent sound that the band is going for. “Rid You of Your Flesh” is the next song, and has a nice opening lead before launching into the main riff. The guitar work overall on this song is really good, especially the solo towards the end.
Up next is “Celebration of the Twisted”, which continues the warpath that the band has set. They continue to write riff-driven death metal that is tight as hell, while still seeming to be a bit rough around the edges. “Dr. Duschanka” opens with a nice guitar, and has more tight writing. Here arises the one issue on the album. While the material here is pretty much all really textbook and well-done death metal, the songs do tend to run together a bit, allowing nothing to stand out. “Left to Die” attempts to change that a bit by slowing the pace down, a welcome change at this point in the album. The slower pace allows the band to play with their tone a bit more, and they chose to make this song sound evil as hell.
Things speed up again with “Cannibalistic Infancy”. This track is shorter, and the band fills the run time to the brim with riffs and very heavy writing, as well as another well-executed solo. Another great riff opens up “Death Cult”, a song that features another great solo, and some really chaotic writing towards the end. This song manages to fit within the band’s usual fast and riff-driven material, while standing out enough to be different. “The Deranged” opens with a slower paced guitar, and has overall a darker tone. The main riff, and the overall writing on this song is, as usual with this group, extremely solid. Up next is “Only Death is Left Alive” which immediately opens up fast and heavy. The guitar work is once again great, as the band chooses to allow the lead and subsequent solo to dominate this track. “Embrace the End” is the end to the album, and a good one at that. This song is very heavy, and features a couple of solos that both feel welcome. This track ends the album on good note, leaving the listener satisfied. This is a good album. Despite it feeling a bit repetitive at times, the strength of the material allows for that to be overlooked. If you like extreme metal, especially death metal, this one is a must check out.
Overall Score: 9.0/10
Review by Sam Hookom