Its safe to say that California’s very own extreme metal veterans Carnifex are one of the most well known, hard-working and respected bands not only in the realms of deathcore and death metal but throughout the existence of their career, they’ve established themselves to be a huge household name touring with many bands from Cannibal Corpse, The Black Dahlia Murder, Revocation, Suffocation and many more to name a few. Carnifex was one of the first bands in the deathcore genre I have fell in love almost immediately being exposed to their 2010 effort Hell Chose Me which became one of those albums I go back on a listening spree and seeing the growth, maturity and experimental nature these musicians have created decades later it amazes me how far they’ve became. The last album in 2019 being World War X demonstrated the band’s most diverse sounding album and one of the heaviest releases in recent memory as I feel that record in particular they incorporated many elements including symphonic arrangements and black metal signatures which gave it such high praise when I reviewed it that year.
Now on the next evolution to Carnifex, we have the newest offering Graveside Confessions which is released through Nuclear Blast Records and is the eighth studio full-length by the band. Musically, if you heard the last several Carnifex albums from Die Without Hope to World War X, their sound not only is expanding upon every album but this time around this is by far, the most accessible, darkest and heaviness albums they’ve ever done. Stylistically, Graveside Confessions has tons of musical influences the band are huge fans of whether it be the guitar tones and melodies bring a Korn and Meshuggah-esque soundscapes to the drum fills bringing that mid to late 90’s era of black metal specifically the band Emperor so to speak and vocals providing a Cradle Of Filth atmosphere on how dense, thickening and sinister sounding it really shows that these musicians not only very talented musically by how their presentation is concerned but rather keeping the production so incredibly clean, dark and detailed know how to make massive stylistic turns with each album sounding meaner and emotional at times.
Even the moments you first listen to January Nights, Talk To The Dead, Pray For Peace and my favorite being the title track of Graveside Confessions, these songs in particular marked growth, maturity and have maintained a death metal branch while incorporating black metal signatures with the songs bringing out a Cradle Of Filth and Emperor atmosphere which became a huge success for their songwriting, production and everything they’ve done progressively has surely made me a very happy fan. This album also employs intelligent lyrics, exceptional instrumentation and magnificence of the vocal deliverance showing true talent what this Californian band offers.
From frequent thrashy death metal guitars and exceptional potentialities, these guys increased their number of standout tracks with very brutal arrangements including viscous breakdowns and grinding assaults of drumming beats endlessly being strapped away to pure heaviness. Then latter half of the album, it starts off steady with distorted, grumbling bass frequencies and choruses are infused together with enough melody which comes in noteworthy and it executed so perfectly. Overall, Graveside Confessions is Carnifex’s wake up call to showcase how far they’ve came along the deathcore scene and the album proved themselves to be hungrier, faster, more aggressive and steadying than they’ve ever been before in the long run they been together as a band.
Overall Score: 9.5/10
Review by Jake Butler