After Decapitated released their classic death metal album Organic Hallucinosis, the last thing anyone expected was …true death. After a tragic tour bus accident which left singer Covan seriously injured and drummer Vitek dead, founding guitarist Vogg announced a hiatus. Four years later, with a new band behind him, Vogg and Decapitated have paid homage to their fallen brothers the best way possible – delivering Carnival is Forever; an album worthy of their stellar past with horns raised toward the future.
Decapitated has always been more than just a metal band. The layering of sounds, the atmosphere the passion – it’s all on Carnival… in spades. As a fan from the beginning, listening to the opening track, ‘The Knife’, brought equal parts of emotion and adrenaline. The drums and guitars swirl in a maelstrom of sound while Rafal Piotrowski’s vocals pierce your speakers. Any nervousness is replaced by elation and an almost calmness, since this effort is worthy of past and current members.
All musicians are in step, which one would expect after playing over 100 shows together. However the quality of songwriting and execution is beyond expectation. Take ‘United’, the second track which bludgeons at breakneck speed until Vogg lights a 5-note fuse leading to an explosive jaw-dropping solo. Each song delivers such a complex, unique experience, it seems like there are more than 8 tracks.
The riffs shift, clean parts are punctuated by death metal bursts. Time slows to a crawl on the title track, only to slam the listener to the floor the next moment. Decapitated has taken a page from Meshuggah and Opeth; mixing them perfectly throughout the album.
Carnival is Forever is both beautiful and brutal. Songs are allowed to develop and the hooks stay with the listener for days. And that’s what is forever. The music itself. In the face of adversity, Decapitated has delivered one of their finest.
5 out of 5