Carnifex
"The Diseased and the Poisoned"

(Victory Records 2008)Carnifex - The Diseased and the Poisoned

Hey, what's up, teenage death metal fan? Checking out the new Carnifex CD, huh? I bet you're a big Job for a Cowboy fan. Yeah, I figured you would be. Well, you must like Morbid Angel, too, right? They're okay? Just okay? C'mon, man, have some perspective here. I don't think I want to know if you've even heard of Repulsion. Didn't think so. Oy.

That dialogue may be a complete fabrication, but I've no doubt similar scenes have played out in Hot Topics the nation over. "The Diseased and the Poisoned," the second effort from Carnifex, is the sort of death metal becoming really popular among kids who probably don't know any better. Sure, it's standard deathcore, but you can unpack it a little further than that. Bands like Fall of Serenity yank European death metal's sense of melody, Carnifex instead apply their rudimentary knowledge of American technicality and precision. This is what Hate Eternal would sound like, if they had breakdowns and Erik Rutan wasn't so awesome.

As is the case with a lot of deathcore bands, Carnifex are all balls and no brains, all power and no finesse. They get so swept up in laying down speed and brutality that nuance and feeling gets left at the door. The production doesn't help much; "The Diseased and the Poisoned" is so sterile it might as well have been recorded in a CDC clean room.

By now, you're probably getting the impression that "The Diseased and the Poisoned" is a reeking pile of week-old garbage. Well, that's not entirely accurate. It may be watered down, but even watered down beer tastes fine after you're already blitzed. At the very least, Carnifex has some pretty good songwriting skills to fall back on. They have a good grasp on how to craft a coherently powerful, if not particularly memorable, album.

B-

buy it!