Carved – Thanatos

Rating: 4/5
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Released: 2019
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Band line-up:

Cristian Guzzon – Vocals
Alessio Rossano – Guitars
Damn Terzoni – Guitars
Lorenzo Nicoli – Bass
Giulio Samael – Drums
Federico Mecozzi – Violin
Marco Mantovani – Orchestral


1. Sons of Eagle
2. Octopus
3. Skal
4. Path
5. Rain Servant
6. Hagakure
7. La Ballata Degli Impiccati
8. NeveroddoreveN
9. The Time Traveller
10. Spider
11. The Gulf
12. Come with Me
13. Elsie


Carved are a symphonic progressive death metal band from Italy. Their latest album ‘Thanatos’ was released on February 15th and was mixed and mastered by Simone Mularoni at Domination Studio. It features numerous guest musicians, such as Mularoni (DGM), Claudio Coassin (Fake Idol) and Michele Guaitoli (Vision of Atlantis). The group have shared the stage with some of the best Italian bands, such as Destrage, Necrodeath and Schizo and have no signs of slowing down.

For a death metal album, there really is a lot of variety in Thanatos. Of course you get the cookie monster vocals, frantic guitars and drums, but symphonic, neoclassical and folk ideas? The latter played with harps? There is even a track called ‘Come With Me’ that features peaceful though slightly creepy female voices without accompaniment. All parts throughout the release are brilliantly and expertly written and it would take ages to describe all of the highlights in it. However, here are a few: The complex thrashy riffs that feature a wide range of pitches without sounding at all messy, the flashy yet melodic shred solos, the Yngwie Malmsteen style interlude in ‘Skal’, the short tease of a bass solo in the same song, etc. This album has it all.

It may have been the band’s intention, but the songs on this release are a little on the short side considering how epic their instrumentation is. They are mostly over the four minutes mark, but it’s kind of like hearing traditional symphonies – you just expect them to be longer. At times it’s almost as if Carved have too many ideas, and they should perhaps just stick to developing them more. However, I’m sure people with shorter attention spans will love the group’s writing style. Micro tracks such as ‘NeveroddoreveN’ may seem rushed, but to be fair, they do capture the listener’s imagination like a story with no ending. ‘What should happen next? What does the song mean?’

In conclusion, it’s not every day you hear death metal, or indeed any form of metal this good or adventurous. The composers are clearly very talented and know exactly what they’re doing. Maybe they went a bit over the top and tried to do too much, but no one in their right mind would call these guys boring. The themes and melodies they come up with are decent, but they often don’t get stuck in one’s mind as much as their use of instrumentation and curious genres. This album is strongly recommended for any death metal or symphonic metal fan. In fact metal fans in general will appreciate it, I’m sure.

Review by Simon Wiedemann