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Subjectively speaking it's amazing this album ever came out. The events surrounding the band left many fans to assume Decapitated would be placed on permanent hiatus and Vogg should be applauded for bringing Decapitated back to the forefront of extreme metal for music rather than tragedy.
Objectively speaking this is an insultingly boring album which sounds more like Messhugah than Decapitated, and I think it'd be better for everyone involved if this album hadn't been released. This is not Decapitated. One guitarist with three other random musicians does not a Decapitated album make.
I'm not sure who the creative force behind the previous albums was but I have a sneaking suspicion it may not have been Vogg because fuck all here sounds like Decapitated. From a lyrical and musical standpoint everything here sounds dumbed down for the kids to me, like they all sound angsty and pissed off in a "I hate my mum and dad kind of a way." This is kinda hard to quantify but take this lyric: It's raining birds/ Seagulls, nightingales/ They don't sing, they stink /Feathers glow in the dark... I'm sorry that's shit and it sounds shitter when it's screamed through my headphones. Decapitated's lyrics always seemed so abstract and intriguing to me, this stuff not so much.
Part of this falls at the feet of new vocalist Rafal who sounds like he's doing his best to sound "extreme" whilst remaining as un-death metal as possible. He sounds so un-inspired by the lyrical material he's working with (not surprising really). There's no venom or hate or spite in his voice and none of the "I will bray you with my very vocal chords" effect that Covan and Sauron possess.
What Vogg delivers here are middling little post hardcore palm mute plagued riffs which lack any of the technical flare of, say for example, Post Organic; or any of awesome simplicity of Spheres of Madness. Vogg can right some fucking epic riffs and solos and here he just doesn't. Many of the songs open with open string plucked guitars and bass. The only place incidentally the bass is allowed to breathe and the kind of thing only Primordial seem to be able to do well. It's like how you play when you get a guitar for the first time and you don't know what you're doing so you pluck strings randomly and it sounds kinda atmospheric yet also shite to anyone else. Yeah, the entire final track is four minutes of that bullshit.
On the plus side of this album new drummer Krimh holds his own even if his drums are castrated by the production. He's a good talent this lad. No Vitek (but who is?) but he holds promise. I don't feel the album gives him room to do his thing. For example I don't recall any solos or interesting fills from him, but his basic drumming is distinctly above average and I have high hopes for him.
In the end this album is a real disappointment. Genuinely. When I read the reviews elsewhere I wanted to listen to this and to disagree but if anything I feel most people have been to easy on the band due to the tragic circumstances in which Carnival Is Forever was recorded. Put that out of your mind because this is a poor LP by any standards, not just Decapitated's. This album isn't of Morbid Angel level crapness but it commits the worst sin an album can commit: It bored me. It was a struggle to get through and when it was over I was glad I could stop listening to it. Avoid people. Just pretend it doesn't exist it's not really Decapitated anyway.