Written by: Blackie Skulless
For a while, I had a hard time grasping Carcinoid and their bone-crunching style of doom/death. Released on my birthday in 2019, we’re about a year and a half past Metastatic Declination’s release, and it has since grown on me. Here, the Aussies boast a brooding and freezing brand of the style meant to hold you underground as long as it can, giving the sensation of a cold, desolate wasteland covering endless decay. Seeing that that’s how the current weather in the Northeast has me feeling, there’s no better time to talk about this.
The selling point is the brutally intense layering of the bass against the guitars, allowing both of them to act as the leads. Explosive outbursts from the latter act like a massive gust of wind meant to blow over the listener, bringing the sheer heaviness to peak levels. On the other hand, the guitar parts are so raw and abrasive that they sand away some of the thickness and give off small hints of rhythmic consistency. Together, they’re pretty unstoppable, and while not atypical of this style, I have yet to encounter a band that does it better.
Moreover, the cut-throat vocals and unforgivable lyrical composure are what top off Metastatic Declination. Almost the entirety of the songs consist of horrid ways of dying, suffering, and submerging into harsh soils of unbeing through a few words at a time. Though understanding anything is damn-near impossible, reading along completes the feeling of worthlessness spouted out from what is anything but narrative.
With a style like Carcinoid's, it’s understandable that holding this kind of momentum with such little variance for nearly forty-five minutes doesn’t come easy. Their repetitive placement is all part of the magic, and the outro specifically of the title track exhibits this beautifully. Unsteady shifts in speed without warning are another neat one, shown beautifully in “Rotting Beneath.” And of course, rhythm patterns that stick in your head across the board are gonna be essential. What helps that in particular is the cracking drum kicks that jump all over the place during the slower riff-blasts.
Given all of this, it’s pretty obvious that they aren't going to be for everyone. It’s also meant for a very specific mood, one that isn’t particularly energetic or excited, but down or drained. Like myself, it may take time to grow on you, but I can assure you that when it does it is worth every minute.
Carcinoid - Metastatic Declination was released in Oct. 2019 via Memento Mori Records, Blood Harvest Records, and Headsplit Records
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!