Deadly Carnage - Through the Void, Above the Suns - (9/10)
Published on May 30, 2018
An Absolutely Thrilling Album
Italy is probably not one of the first countries that comes to mind for outstanding black metal. It is a country known primarily for its wealth of outstanding power metal after all. However, there are always diamonds to be found in the rough and Deadly Carnage are certainly one of them. Through the Void, Above the Suns is their fourth album and it brings forth a unique blend of post-black metal and atmospheric doom that is not only artistically compelling but also thoroughly enjoyable.
The one thing that immediately jumps out at you about this album is the riffs. Most forms of black and post-black metal are not known for having high-quality riffs but Deadly Carnage bucks that trend. The riffs on this album are fantastic, with plenty of heaviness in the tone while also displaying an excellent sense of melody. Consider the mid-album instrumental “Cosmi” as a prime example. It starts with a plodding, doomy riff, layers in a gorgeous guitar melody, and speeds up a tad while still maintaining the doomy atmosphere and pace until speeding up further for a blissfully bleak mid-section. Naturally, it goes back to the doomy pace to finish out the song but that is a lot going on for a song under three minutes. It is not all slow and doomy though as “Lumis” boasts decent speed (for the style) and a fast and furious, tremolo picked mid-section. Even in the tremolo picking though, the atmosphere and tremendous melodies are maintained and that is what sets Deadly Carnage apart from many of their peers.
The drumming on this album is truly excellent. There is very little speed in Marco’s style here but you can tell that every fill and every beat has purpose. Nothing he does is on a whim or left to chance and it makes the album that much more compelling. There is one exception and that is “Divide,” which contains multiple sections of unrestrained blast beats and double kick drumming. Even then, there is plenty of atmosphere as Marco plays the black metal standard slower than usual. There is plenty of bombast in Marco’s style but it all has a purpose and he mixes in a lot of variety over the course of the album. Just listen to the opening pattern of “Matter.” It sounds like the slow, steady drums of a battalion going off to war. It eventually speeds up but also brings in some nice cymbals to add to the fray.
Alexios’ vocals on this album are really interesting and very well done overall. His harsh vocals are harsh enough to fit the post-black bill but clean enough to where you can sort of understand the lyrics. His clean vocals are top-notch too and the way he can flow between them so easily makes the album pretty easy to follow. His cleans are the kind of soaring vocals you expect in post-black and they have more power and bite to them than those of say, Neige. “Ifene” is almost entirely clean vocals and if you understand Italian, you could probably figure out the lyrics. Alexios also handles the synths and shares the guitar duties with Dave, which allows the band to really flesh out all the progression, even interspersing three short instrumentals throughout the album. Naturally, it helps a great deal that the synths provide a wonderful atmosphere for this album with plenty of enchanting melodies.
This album is obviously not for everyone but if you are a fan of post-black metal in all its bleak, soaring glory, you should definitely give this a few spins. The atmosphere is incredible and while things may start out fairly bleak, it evolves over the course of the album. As bleak as “Matter” sounds, “Divide” is one of the most bliss-filled, hopeful black metal songs ever written. What this album lacks in speed, it more than makes up for with its heaviness, atmosphere and incredibly strong compositions. It is still early but this should be a strong contender for the top 10 come December.