The Lowdown: Over the course of their career, Carnifex have pushed their craft to deliver devastating material that’s brimming with haunting flair and poeticism. Their 2016 LP, Slow Death, was a strong success and further elevated their artistry. Now three years later, the San Diego deathcore band is back with their seventh studio LP, World War X. While Carnifex don’t veer far from their pervious material, the album makes for another worthy addition to their discography.
The Good: Carnifex are all about brutal presentation; each release of theirs promises all-out adrenaline and heaviness. The opening title track plays out in typical Carnifex fashion — unleashing a blend of crunchy and melodic guitar playing, blast beats, and growling vocals, helping to establish the album’s overall atmosphere.
The band raises the intensity with the following song, “Visions of the End”. The sound of Fred Calderon’s bass thunders alongside Shawn Cameron’s speedy drum work; the sinister guitar rhythm is all thanks to that of Cory Arford and Jordan Lockrey. There are awesome instrumental shifts that take place throughout the record; in particular, when the guitars go from low, grim tones, to that of ethereal melodies.
“Eyes of the Executioner” provides another helping of savage joy, with the band as a whole coming together to deliver an exhilarating flow. When it comes to their presentation, Carnifex do a solid job of arranging their compositions; timing and pace allow for strong moments that hook the listener in, carrying them along to embrace the adrenaline.
Vocalist Scott Lewis once again provides an awesome range in vocal tones; lyrically, he continues to explore more emotional and personal themes, baring himself to audiences, with lines like, “That voice inside that suicidal mind/ It speaks at night.” Lewis’ words beautifully weave together with that of the band’s instrumental component, establishing emotional depth and sonic ferocity.
The Bad: While not necessarily a huge con, the overall sound of the album is nothing we haven’t heard before. While the quality of the material as a whole is solid, it would have been intriguing to hear the band try a little more experimentation.
The Verdict: Overall, World War X is an absolute rush. The band’s ability to blend feeling and raw heaviness once again allows them to release a work of awesome brutality. With World War X, Carnifex continue to prove themselves as one of deathcore’s leading acts.
Essential Tracks: “Visions of the End”, “Eyes of the Executioner”, “All Roads Lead to Hell”