Carnal Garden – Where They Are Silent

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/label: Eclectic Productions
Distributor/label URL: https://www.facebook.com/ECLECTICprods/
Released: 2017
Buy Album: https://carnalgarden.bandcamp.com/releases
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/carnalgarden

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Band line-up:

John Dafopoulos – Guitars, bass
Kostas Analytis – Vocals
Dimitris Miglis – Drums

Tracklisting:

1. Where They Are Silent
2. Crushing Skulls
3. Gasping for Last Breath
4. At the Forefront
5. Morbid Dreams
6. Violence Unleashed
7. Blood on the Walls
8. In the Garden of Death
9. World Infected
10. From the Catacombs

Review:

In Where They Are Silent, Carnal Garden offer us a pretty solid slab of pounding, groove-laden death metal with only one real drawback: the vocals.

In overall sound, this is raw and unprocessed, and deliberately so. It wants to sound rough and dirty and nasty, the lack of polish just thickens the sound and adds to the experience. This is death metal with firm emphasis on hardcore rhythms and crushing breakdowns, where every riff is about caving in your skull. The rough edges just lend it an old-school charm, and those rhythms carry it well. But then the vocals kick in and seriously derail that momentum. After multiple listens they did grow on me a tad more than at first, but still, the vocals are unquestionably the weakest aspect on display.

Throughout the album it’s like Chaos A.D.-era Sepultura if they went down a death metal route. It’s Pro-Pain doing extreme metal, or even Darkthrone’s more punk-ish outings with that same dirty, grimy approach. “In the Garden of Death” kicks straight in with a d-beat rhythm straight out of crust punk, “Crushing Skulls” has the kind of militaristic stomp that would sound right at home on a Hail of Bullets album, and “At the Forefront” is probably the best on here, taking us in a bit of an industrial direction with a solid, marching rhythm that calls classic Nailbomb to mind. Lyrically this is very typical death metal fare: death, gore, darkness, etc. It fits with the tone, though none of this has been ground-breaking since 1987.

There’s plenty to enjoy here, but it’s a shame that it’s dragged down by poor vocals, to the point where at times it feels like this would be better as a straight instrumental album. Still, it works well outside of that. If the band can improve on this one glaring issue this could be a solid package.

Review by Kieron Hayes
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