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Carnage - Dark Recollections
Review: A world beyond bleeding through the spread fingers with which we attempt to block the obvious, Carnage batters out music that is from alternating angles viewed as either a blunt object or a delicate sensibility emerging from within depraved deconstruction. Formed of the recursive offtime doubletime chording that like a machine builds momentum onto cadence, interspersed with subtleties of melody rising to not only complement its darker counterpart but enwrap it in a context that approaches the simplest symbolism of meaning, the first-wave Swedish death metal of this band defined a sound for which other, related acts gained brand recognition.
Songs begin with camouflaged allusions to the motives that will displace their unrelenting pummel, lifting a voice of potential harmony so that it may be struck down like the human destination of failure eulogized in their lyrics, producing a contrast between catacombs of darkened motion and gestures toward an inner order that reveals the meta-motif underlying this music: it is submergence into a cave of fears so that it may emerge into light and then, upon seeing the fractured impact of that revelation, return again to the primal and warlike intolerance of unrealistic adaptation against which it struggles. Riffs that could lead into heavy metal bombast and gratification instead diverge into the ambiguous, and when the obscure becomes comfortingly predictable, songs diverge into another message, one of a crystalline emergence of sense in the insensible.
Lead guitars perfect a melodic complement to the works of disturbance below like alarms above the din of city violence, accentuating the unreality of unending morbidity to our consciousness as beings who must choose to go forward into the overcast cavernous disturbance of a time that does not recognize its doom. Some riffs are shared with bands who share members with this formative act, but for the most part riffcraft attains unique linguistics of the shape of sound, fearless in a desire to use whatever means communicate no matter how simple or abstract. It is a science of shape that bends phrases into sigils and twisting those in a primordial light converts them into a anecdotal sequence of ideas that reaches a point of declaration of form, then immerses itself in the absence of light to reveal its impetus in negative space.
Guttural voices peak and return to a nearly-spoken worship of cadence, girded by a sonambulous bass and the complementary harmonies of two guitars uniting on dual representations of theme never expressed in utilitiarian summary. Dissident, Carnage unites the uncurling melodies of Dismember with the explosive surge in rhythm of Entombed, but with allusions to the careful pacing of song as a theatre of conflicting desires that marked Unleashed; it is a lower-technology but more organic version of that triad of Swedish death metal to later emerge. Cynical, inconclusive, and yet spectrally sonorous, it possesses our dreams of denial with a sudden realization of how much more comfortable we are in the caverns of darkness accented by light than in a world of unending, machine-fed illumination.