It’s been a long and tragic five years since the world was bestowed with a new DECAPITATED record. Lone returning member, guitarist Vogg, admirably decided to continue the band with a new line-up, that symbolize the best possible tribute to his brother, the late Vitek, and Covan. If there was ever a return that showed no ill effects in the face of tragedy, Carnival is Forever is that return.
The new record picks up where one of the truly classic death metal albums of the 2000’s, Organic Hallucinosis, left off. Carnival is Forever is a progression, an expansion, of those ideas. The trademark DECAPITATED slamming, shifting, circulating, and ultra precise riffs are back alongside the wild time changes played above the relentless, precise drumming. The drugged out, narcotic, and almost nightmarish atmospheres are here as well but are further expanded with clean guitar parts and arguably wilder song shifts between the brutal, clean, and minimalist sections. Guitarist Vogg’s solos are absolutely excellent and that’s probably why many will considered them too short-lived in the songs.
Songwriting-wise, Carnival is Forever is airtight and created with the same level of focus and precision as the musicianship. Most of the songs range in the four to five minute range while the title track clocks in at 8:49. The aforementioned title track is easily the most narcotic and atmospheric, and sounds similar to OPETH at their most heavy, dark and progressive in parts. There is a very subtle and distinctly DECAPITATED progressive edge to the sound.
So everyone is curious about the new band members. It’s clear that Vogg has chosen the right men for the job. Vocalist Rafal Piotrowski has own his style - abrasive and dry, well enunciated shouts as opposed more traditional death metal vocals. Drummer Kerim “Krimh” Lechner fits the role well with his tight, machine gun playing. Bassist Filip “Heinrich” Halucha aptly fills Marcin “Martin” Rygiel’s shoes.
Carnival is Forever symbolizes the spirit and excellence of this band. Through everything they’ve been through, DECAPITATED has only grown stronger and better. Easily one of the 2011’s best albums. Hail. (Nuclear Blast Records)