Every genre, musical sub-division, has its artists who epitomize its highest standards, and others (the vast majority, if truth be told) who are content to be pulled along on the coat-tails of said leading lights, often becoming mere pale imitations of the innovators who have gone before them. Metalcore is perhaps the worst culprit in this regard: a ‘scene’ highlighted by a few genuinely innovative artists but by and large littered with the unworthy carcasses of trite, unimaginative wannabes.
The melodic/symphonic death metal scene (pick whatever prefix you desire) is in danger of heading in the same direction, as every week seems to bring out the latest ‘essential’ genre-defining act: the Finns and Scandanavians in particular seem to have been churning out such claimants with almost gay abandon over the past year or so. So, can this Italian six-piece carve out their own individual niche for themselves, with this debut full-lengther (they’ve previously released just one three-track EP, back in 2010).
Carved are certainly ambitious in their approach, bookending the album’s seven tracks proper with two fairly lengthy symphonic pieces, and ‘Echo Of My Cinderella’ certainly starts off with the same approach, building slowly and utilizing a rather pleasant female harmony vocal, before the main riff kicks in and delivers a dark, intense groove – a sound which epitomizes the rest of the album. The rhythms and basic song structures are very much based in old school death metal, while also possessing a very dense and introspective feel, and the guitars add to the overall feeling of bleakness with stripped back, morose melodies overlaying sweeping keyboard interludes, all overlaid by Cristian Guzzon’s gruff and suitably blackened growling.
Carved succeed in delivering a slightly different take on the melodic DM sound, and the result is an interesting and not unimpressive oeuvre.
- Dies Irae (Praeludium)
- Echo Of My Cinderella (The Final Symphony)
- Enter The Silence
- Scripta Manent (Bullshit)
- The Perfect Storm
- At The Gates Of Ice
- Ashes Of A Scar
- Black Lily Of Chaos
- A New World (Postlidium)
‘Dies Irae’ is out now on Bakerteam Records. Find out more at the label’s official website, http://www.bakerteamrecords.com/