Testament to what a change in direction can do when done the right way

Early in the beginnings of the genre, Carnifex was a second rate or maybe lower deathcore band. It took a long time for them to craft everything into a cohesive element. Their 2016 release Slow Death is where the all of the musical nuance came together with a nu (see what I did there?) found sense of groove.

World War X continues along in a similar vein to their previous release, taking everything they learnt and adding an extra sheen to everything. The keyboards are really given a front row at times, accentuating the theatrics on a track such as ‘This Infernal Darkness’ and adding a cinematic light to the darkness, creating movements within a short death metal timeframe.

On the opposite end of the scale, tracks like ‘Visions of the End’ or album highlight ‘Eyes of the Executioner’ crank up the band’s heavier influences to show a direction seldom put forward, that of a band that could easily drop the ’core part of their sound and slip into complete blackened death metal mode with no looking back.

The only soft spot is the generic and directionless ‘No Light Shall Save Us’ that doesn’t make the best use of Alissa White-Gluz.  The use of her clean vocals adds atmosphere but her harsh style is lost to the heavier growl of Scott Ian Lewis and the band sound uninspired behind them.

This is only a small blip as they step straight back into chaos with reduced symphonic elements and keep their foot firmly planted on the throat, wrapping up with another standout on ‘By Shadows Thine Held’ that ends the album more aggressively than it opened.

Not often does a band continue to develop its sound this deep into their career but World War X is testament to what a change in direction can do when done the right way, without the sharp shock of a shot at popularity. On this album a band that is famed for a hit and miss approach has definitely hit.

85%

  1. World War X
  2. Visions of the End
  3. This Infernal Darkness
  4. Eyes of the Executioner
  5. No Light Shall Save Us
  6. All Roads Lead to Hell
  7. Brushed By the Wings of Demons
  8. Hail Hellfire
  9. By Shadows Thine Held