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Carpathian Forest has been a frontrunner of the underground black metal scene for years with their unique take on the genre. This is quite possibly their best album to date.
Carpathian Forest plays an intriguing style of punk-infused black metal, but with more black metal and less punk than Impaled Nazarene. “Fuck You All” is no different, a thoroughly enjoyable release showing a broadening of horizons for the Norwegians. Much musical progression has been made on the album, with more innovation than I’ve heard in the genre for a long time.
This Album screams Nordic black metal ferocity in every breath. The guitars are fast, intense and memorable riffs make every song remarkable. Alternating between tremolo black metal and heavy thrash riffs, the progression feels very natural and the atmosphere is heavier than past Carpathian Forest albums. The relentlessly heavy drums drive the music forward with urgent speed, mercilessly hitting home with every snap of the snare. Double-times and blastbeats punctuate this record effectively. The drum tuning is trademark black, with the snare being high-pitched and empty, the punk influence obvious here. The basic drumlines are very effective and heavy nonetheless. This is a collection of irresistibly catchy songs that are rhythmically spot-on. The bass adds some much-needed warmth and depth to the razorblade riffs, rounding the songs off nicely. It is surprisingly clear and audible for a BM release, one is aware of the bass throughout the album.
The vocals are typically black metal, but with some added diversity in a few growls and hardcore-influenced shouts. This is a solid performance from start to finish, never becoming monotonous, and the voice suits it perfectly. Typical of Nattefrost, his ice-cold shrieks are tremendously powerful, certainly one of the best black metal vocalists out there.
“Fuck You All” is a very diverse release, changing pace and feel constantly. The slow songs are relentless and depressing, very dark, something the genre seems to be lacking of late. Contrary to popular opinion, I don’t feel that this album drags, it just requires more time. CF aren’t instant gratification anymore, they have evolved their sound, and the result is a very mature release, solidifying them as legends in all aspects of BM. This album is more timeless than their earlier efforts, more memorable. They have succeeded where Impaled Nazarene has failed, this album is more serious, with more depth, but still Carpathian Forest as we know and love them. The aforementioned Finns tried a similar approach with “Nihil”, but it simply made fans lose interest.
One can’t help but smile at the songs, with titles like “Start up the Incinerator (Here Comes Another Useless Fool)” and “The First Cut is the Deepest”. I find myself wondering if CF is taking the piss. Yet with the album managing the enigma of simplicity while being technically proficient, every black metal fan should sit up and take notice of this excellent album. Carpathian Forest are one of Norway’s finest, and “Fuck You All” is their finest album.
How does this album stack up with Carpathian Forest’s previous albums? It doesn’t touch the greatness of Strange Old Brew or Defending the Throne of Evil, so for me it fits somewhere between Black Shining Leather and Morbid Fascination of Death. The band went for a more catchier sound with this album. This might disappoint hardcore fans or heavy black metal followers, but it actually provides an enjoyable listening experience.
While the album undeniably has the Carpathian Forest sound, it obviously differs; a band can’t keep putting out the same material over and over again. As said before, the sound is more of a catchy sound, and seems to be less of the intensity and speed of previous releases, and noticeably slower. The songs seem to have a more of a melodic, atmospheric feel to them than their other albums. This is either good or bad, depending on the listener. For me, I didn’t mind it. It’s nice to see a slightly different side of Carpathian Forest. The band has always maintained a certain level of catchiness in their songs. It’s just more than usual for this album. Now, with all that being said, don’t assume this album doesn’t have the evil themes and lyrics normally accustomed to Carpathian Forest songs. It’s all there, it’s just not as… intense, for lack of a better word, than before.
In terms of recommending this album to other people, I’d personally say listen to Strange Old Brew or Defending the Throne of Evil before listening to this album. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though. This album is good, but like many other bands, it has its place in the line of albums that should be listened to for a proper “feel” of the band. Anyway, onto the songs.
Vi Apner Porten Til Helvete – The opening track of the album, and one of two tracks in Norwegian. This track is one of the longest tracks in Carpathian Forest’s relatively small discography, and at times it feels like it too. It opens with some edited vocals, then a short drum solo followed by a scream, presumably by Nattefrost. The guitars and bass more or less remain the same throughout the song, and the drums are pretty constant too. It’s a nice sounding song, though. Probably one of the slower songs on the album, it extends longer than six minutes. Around the halfway point you can kind of see it being a nice song to a soundtrack for a horror film or something.
The Frostbitten Woodlands of Norway – A very melodic song, this song features the very recognizable vocals of Nattefrost. The other songs do too, but it seems even more apparent with this one. The song starts off very melodic, but as it progresses, it becomes faster. The drums pick up, losing the atmospheric feel but bringing in a more intense feeling and overall experience. Also, is it just me, or is the guitar sound at the 0:42 mark sound like the guitars in Blood Fire Death (Bathory song)? It just sounds very, very familiar. I hadn’t listened to Bathory for months and as soon as this song came on I instantly recognized it.
Start Up the Incinerator (Here Comes Another Useless Fool) – This song is one of the faster ones on the album, and one of my favourites (of the album). It features great vocals from Nattefrost, including those echoing pieces, which I think he always pulls off nicely. The guitar and bass both sound great, though they don’t vary much. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it seems like the band has become slightly lazier with this album. Nevertheless, it is very catchy, and the chorus is a lot of fun. The growl Nattefrost does on this song is pretty neat too. The guitar and bass switch up a bit about halfway through the song, but then quickly switch back.
Submit to Satan!!! – In addition to the somewhat laughable song title, this is another one of the faster songs on the album. Its opening almost sounds like a thrash metal song, but that notion is quickly discarded with a scream from Nattefrost. It lacks any sort of catchy chorus and isn’t overly memorable in any particular area, though it does sport a quick guitar solo. The song stays pretty much the same throughout its four minutes, which can get kind of annoying. Overall, it’s a very repetitive song; you’ll ever hate it or love it.
Diabolism (The Seed and the Sower) – The opening of this track is pretty good. Nice guitar work, though the drums are pretty standard. The overall feeling when you start listening to this song is to head bang until about the 1:25 mark. It changes pace there and the want to head bang dissipates. Once again this song fits into the catchiness that is Carpathian Forest and this album in particular. The song takes another turn around the 2:20 mark. The problem with this song is there isn’t that much variation and it feels like it drags, even if it’s just over four minutes long. Also, once again, is it just me or does the riff at the 3:27 mark totally sound like a Slayer riff? Several friends agree. I have to go through my Slayer albums to find which song, but it has Slayer written all over it.
Dypfryst/Dette Er Mit Helvete – The second of two tracks written in Norwegian. Nattefrost’s vocals on this song are slightly different than other songs on this album. The guitars and bass sound good, and the drums fit in nicely. There’s not much variation in the song, though it switches pace around the 2:10 mark. That seems to be the overall problem with this album; little to no variation in the songs, or they feel like they drag out too long. Towards the ending though there is some edited in elements which adds a bit to the atmosphere, but nothing to save the song.
Everyday I Must Suffer – The song beings very well and very catchy. This is another favourite of mine from this album. Everything melts together nicely to produce a pretty good song. There is plenty of variation and the pace switches several times. Furthermore, the song is also fast and that definitely helps. The only thing it lacks is a catchy chorus or a really nice part for some head banging. Nattefrost also throws in an “Ow!” at the 3:45 mark. It put a smirk on my face. I’m glad he doesn’t take himself TOO seriously. Carpathian Forest has always found the balance between having fun and still being “grim”.
The First Cut is the Deepest – This song starts off slow and heavy; a decent beginning to head bang to. At the 1:45 mark the song dramatically changes from a slow head banger to a quick-paced song. The drums and guitar both pick up speed and the melodic feel is quickly discarded. It returns again a little later in the song though. It’s almost like two songs in one. The song is actually not bad for a slow head banger. The song is pretty catchy, to say the least, though it has no memorable or noticeable chorus.
Evil Egocentrical Existencialism – This is the shortest song on the album, and it goes by pretty fast. It opens kind of melodically with some vocals from Nattefrost. Once the snare drum quickens the song starts to pick up and becomes quite catchy. Great guitar work. The catchiness definitely contributes to how fast this song goes by. It’s also a nice head banger too.
Shut Up, There is No Excuse to Live – The final song of the album, and one of the better ones. It’s a very catchy head banger. Quickly paced too. Plus, the song title is pretty cool. The vocals are the typical vocals you would expect from Nattefrost, and the instruments all do their respective parts. It’s a pretty decent song. I think it’s a good finish to the album. It almost sounds like the more “classic” sounding Carpathian Forest songs.
So, when all is said and done, I would recommend this album, but not until you give a listen to their other albums first. As mentioned near the beginning of this review this album has its place in line. This album would fit perfectly on a metal playlist or even a Carpathian Forest playlist. I don’t know if I could listen to it over and over again, though, like I can other albums.
The album has traded in some of the intensity of previous albums for more of a slower, melodic feel. Simply put, it’s different. Whether the new sound is good or bad is totally up to the listener.
Carpathian Forest continue their collapse with their fifth full length. Actually, one may defend them saying that they are kicking ass black metal band with rockish elements, but the question must be asked: is it True Norwegian Black Metal, the one to which we got used to? I don’t think so. Darkthrone is the rockish one, Carpathian Forest certainly not.
Their music got a bit heavier and now is more trashy than rock’n’rollish, it can be heard by comparing tracks Submit to Satan and Mask of the Slave because both base on a very similar riff. Anyway, why the fuck they copy their old song? Is it the lack of ideas? Or why the hell they continue their catchy and vivacious way of composing? It seems that they got too old to do something real, or maybe they are real but in their faggot way. They forgot what true Norwegian black metal is for sure. All in all, since Strange Old Brew they have been falling down. And now they became to sound like a bunch of pseudo black metal assholes who just pretend to be evil.
The tone of their new album is very similar to their earlier works. Production is clear and every instrument is hearable. In case of music itself they certainly progressed, there are a few solos and some virtuosity but this is not death metal or any other genre where the skill really matters. This ought to be black metal – cold atmosphere, soaking evilness, and everything which makes this genre so attractive. Unfortunately here we have funny riffs, punkish percussion and the worst of it all – Nattefrost’s vocals. He sings like a pissed off hippie pretending to be scary and tough. From time to time it is hearable that something bites his ass – notice those “oughs” placed between the lines of dumb lyrics.(lyrics does not deserve to be written about, they are something between perversion and imbecility. Sometimes there are even choirs or choruses sang by two or three voices – this is the most funny part, where at the first plan we have weak Natte and at the back we hear some dumb beast’s roaring. But to add some more to their cool music, Natte decided to extend his voice even more – check out for example Dypfryst or The First Cut is The Deepest for riot-kind screaming, is it the demonstration against something? If it is, it sounds weak and punkish as fuck. Natte, you will never reach your beloved “cunt” screaming like that.
For fuck you all, my answer is fuck you too! If Norwegian black metal will still be evolving like that there will be nothing more to expect from this genre. The album lacks of everything which this music was intentionally. Its kinda faster and more aggressive, but lack of ballads does not mean that its better. After three years of waiting Carpathian Forest gave us another crap, the final nail to their coffin.
I would like to start this off by saying two things
a) I loved ALL carpathian forest cd from
Through Chasm, Caves, and Titan Woods to Defending the Throne of Evil, and I considered Defending the Throne to be very different but still absolutely amazing; im not just complaining because this is different from the old stuff
b) This album is not very good
Sure, some tracks are catchy like Start the Incinerator of Submit to Satan, but in my opinion the songwriting sucks on this album. specifically the arranging. this album could have been so much better if carpathian forest gave a little more of a shit. which is in some ways what i think they wanted to do. with defending the throne of evil, they had a lot of straightfoward catchiness and i think they wanted to go away from that and attempt, a rawer more black feel. The problem with this is that carpathian forest has never had this type of songwriting- so again i return to the album. Maybe the problem lies with the addition of BloodPerverter on the guitar- as opposed to Nattefrost doing it like he did on every other album.
Vi Apner Porten Til Helvete starts out very very strong but the breakdown drags and drags, then changes riffs without too much thought or real attention. the key changes as well, and not in a very specific sort of way? maybe they were going for that more darkthroney feel - "darkthrone has always been about how the riffs are put together'- Fenriz
The the track repeats the beginning. Again, dont expect Carpathian Forest of Skjend Hans Lik- the songwriting here reminds me of a much less catchy version of Black Shining Leathert
The Frostbitten Woodlands of Norway starts out well, nice rolls, little soft synths- a slower one in tempo. This has its own grim soundscape, but is a lot more bearable than track on as far as how much it drags on. One thing that shines on this album is that Nattefrost is using his voice in new ways- anyone who has seen the Were Going To Hollywood for This DVD (which was in support of Fuck You All) will recognize this on this song. Anyway. a more or less solid song ,but not as good as the next
Start the Incinerator is a pretty sick track- i believe it was a teaser of some sort, anyway a lot of people heard it before the cd came out. Awesome song, slightly strained breakdown, but the overall melody and atmosphere of this song almost makes up for how bad the first two tracks were. Again we hear the new way Natte is using his voice and that alone almost makes this cd worth picking up. But why repeat the breakdown? The key change is utterly random, as are a lot on this cd. I for one think Natte should be on guitars again, but i guess he likes holding upside down crosses during shows too much to supply us with a good album.
Submit to Satan is my favorite track on this cd (yes im from the US, thus that spelling). Unlike the rest of the cd, this song is written very well. Reminiscent a little bit of Spill the Blood of the Lamb, but very good. Straightfoward black metal like this has always been one of Carpathian Forest's strong areas. Since Tchort is still on lead guitars as he has been for a while, the solo here is pretty typical carpathian forest, simple, and very short. Even this song, IMHO repeats a little too much but definitely plays itself out through its course a lot less than the rest of the cd.
Diabolism (The Seed and the Sower) has something else fairly new to Carpathian Forest- harmonizing guitars. Overall the song is very repetitive until the end, where it gets a little better but does not save itself.
Dypfyrst is a more classical black metal song, and ends up being pretty good, also the only Norweigan song in this cd. Again, very reminiscent of Darkthrone here.
Every Day I Must Suffer starts catchy Black N Roll melody- which is what CF is known for. I notice that there is a small handful of carpathian forest songs that are more than 4:30 in length, and in my opinion they all tend to drag. This song doesnt drag but again the riff changes are sort of random, and that distracts me from the song.
The First Cut is the Deepest is a good song. There really are no complaints here. Nice slow headbanger. Riff changes are less random. Basically if all the songs on this album were WRITTEN more like this song in the sense that the riff changes have some sort of tonal sense in the way that Defending the Throne.... did, i would like this album a lot more. Some wierd programming in the middle but really like the bells.
Evil Egocentrical Exostentialism (thats how we spell it here) Is another one of the songs on this cd that i liked a lot and made me feel bad for giving it a 75. Interesting strummed soundscapes, and well written. No real complaints again. Reminds me sort of Grand Declaration era mayhem in some ways and then again of Defending the Throne.
Shut up There is No Excuse to Live sounds like something from the Morbid Fascination era and overall is good, and the song is a good idea of what the album sounds like overall... fairly punkish, and finishes the way the band might finish a show.
In closing this cd DRAGS. Pick it up if youre a hardcore CF fan like me and youll enjoy around 75% of it. If youre looking for Carpathian Forest to listen to if you havent heard the band, definitely dont listen to this but pick up a copy of Defending the Throne of Evil (theres a reason its rating is 100%). If you want older punkier stuff Morbid Fascination of Death is better, or if youve heard that and want something new check out Nattefrost (solo project).. If you want new good black metal pick up Hellfire by 1349.
This album fails in a lot of ways, especially compared to some very strong recent blackmetal releases from both themselves and their Norse peers. Very sad indeed, as I, and i assume most of you have waited patiently for three years since Defending the Throne for this release. For the record I give their previous album a 97,