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"more cryptic and obscure than previous efforts" - 94%

ReaperMan, January 6th, 2012

Relishing more of the groove found on Decapitated’s previous outing, 2006’s Organic Halluscinosis is a much less abrasive record than previous efforts by the revered Polish act. The songs are much more riff-driven with the drums not playing as integral a role, likely due to Vitek’s absence (who, if you listen to the band’s previous work, especially Organic Halluscinosis, is certainly a devastating loss to the metal community). The sound of Carnival… sits somewhere between that of Swedish prog-maestros Meshuggah and more thrash-orientated death metal reminiscent of post-thrashers Byzantine lapsing into a more traditional, yet still by no means conventional death metal sound on the pummelling “404.”

New vocalist Rafal Piotrowski’s vocal style calls to mind that of Fredrik Thordendal and Max Cavalera, and this unconventional approach goes a long way towards distinguishing the sound of the new Decapitated. Much like the album’s baffling title, the lyrics this time are more cryptic and obscure than on previous efforts.

Carnival…. is a unique affair punctuated by strange acoustic passages that tie in with the instrumental closer, suggesting that Carnival is a deeper album than most. A fitting continuation of the Decapitated legacy.