Saturday, July 16, 2011

Decapitated - Carnival is Forever

As much as any record deserves to stand on its own and not be forced to carry the burden of backstory, it would be impossible to subject the newest release of Poland’s
Decapitated, Carnival is Forever, to any combination of text without acknowledging the events preceding it.

In my more productive metal writing days there were many words committed to the 2006 release
Organic Hallucinosis, as there was no question of it being one of the more satisfying metal recordings I'd heard in a long time. The band had always been a welded unit; capable of delivering airtight and sophisticated material, but Hallucinosis was a knockout blow. The production was louder, more up front. The songs shifted from the previously mechanical and traditionally technical Death Metal approach to a looser, more groove-filled style. The record thoroughly earned the overly abused descriptor: raw.

The previously lauded story of Decapitated was how the band formed when the average age of its members was 14, and then released the intimidating debut
Winds of Creation, 4 years later. The band remained consistent in both quality and release schedules until Organic Hallucinosis, when the subject of youth shifted from a group being "wise beyond its years," to "too young to go through this."

In the fall of 2007 while touring Russia, an accident involving a logging truck resulted in severe injury to vocalist, Covan - who had only replaced Sauron for the 2006 release - and the death of drummer, Vitek, brother of guitarist Vogg, and father to a child of his own. Vitek was 23.

Similar to the death of any non-mainstream artist, the world of entertainment - and those who follow - moved along without notice. But the metal community was shattered, holding hands and hanging heads all over the web. While deep in the routine of touring its strongest record, there was no worse upheaval. What followed were the obvious questions of which those asking already knew the answers. The band as we knew it, was finished.

Fate, higher powers, or whatever you choose to believe in can take any possession away, but the things that possess you will always remain. Your sight can be lost, your hearing, limbs, friends, family, all these things can be separated from you, but only death can divide you from your born inclinations. A brother to a guitar player, a songwriting partner, a biological competitor can cease to exist, but an accelerated ability to completely asphyxiate a fret-board with vehemence will eventually triumph.

In mid 2009, Vogg re-emerged to announce he would continue with a newly constructed Decapitated
*, and began recording in early 2011.

Music of all forms can be justified to its listeners as having an attraction based on how it makes one feel. I can’t say with confidence what this says for listeners of heavy music, but I will say that within less than 5 seconds of album opener “The Knife,” my physical being was inert, and my emotional self was standing with clenched fists and tears of stress.

This is the sound of delivery. This is the sound of expectation being dialed in to its most calculated end. This is a culminated climax of so much tragedy and strength that it will be one of the most emotionally exhilarating listens I will have. It is music unequivocally rising against what is arguably the most painful human experience and animating itself in song’s most aggressive genre. It is groove fueled with blood and blended with electricity. It is slipping into supreme feel only to follow with channeling the ghost of Dime in a ripping lead (United), it is polyrhythmed propulsion (Homo Sum), it is Sepultura's tribal twist meets Pantera’s "Becoming" with a dizzying ascending solo leading into a punishing blast (404). It is an 8 song, 42 minute compact uppercut of “over before you know it.” 

Carnival is Forever is a record above score, not because of perfection, but because of everything stated above. Yet what makes it so special is that it does stand on its own. The story of its inception just makes it that much more powerful.

*I covered the addition of Krimh via cover songs posted on YouTube here.


LizzardQueen said...

She's an ambivalent anorexic with the revolting mark of a flippant liar on the back of her neck. She'll laugh while you burn.

MetalPrincess69 said...

deep, yo

Chaosbeard said...

Just paying it forward :)

Peace, love, empathy