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Carbonized > No Canonization > Reviews > Drowned
Carbonized - No Canonization

No comparison - 98%

Drowned, December 12th, 2005

Here's the second effort from Sweden's Carbonized and in my opinion the best piece of vinyl that Thrash Records put out. At this time, Matti Kärki (Carnage, Dismember) was still doing vocals for the band and Markus Rüdén from Morpheus was the drummer. Two versions of this 7" actually exist - one with a blue cover, and the other black/white. I have the blue one, which I've been told is the second pressing. "No Canonization" was recorded in January of 1990 at Sunlight Studios. That's only one month after Entombed recorded their landmark album "Left Hand Path"!

Three songs of dissonant, fast-paced death metal is what this EP offers. The music sounds like a quicker, more technical version of Carnage or Nihilist fused in with some strange Voïvod-like melodies. As I already mentioned, this was produced by the mastermind Tomas Skogsberg so you know that you can expect quality sound. The drummer is impressive and uses a variety of different techniques throughout the EP, ranging from hyper blastbeats to heavy double bass. The guitar tone is in the trademark Sunlight style (buzzy and downtuned), but the riffs themselves are very unique and not something you'd expect at all from a Swedish death metal band in 1990. The driving force behind these songs is the beautifully dissonant bass guitar, however. Much like the rhythm guitar, it's also tuned very low, and comes creeping up out of nowhere with jazz-like precision to the unsuspecting listener. Matti's vocals are absolutely perfect, along the lines of his work in Carnage but with even more aggression and intensity.

The title track opens with an immediate attack of blistering guitars, fast drumming and flesh-ripping vocals. The brutality catches you off guard, but by the second riff you're already headbanging at full force and can't wait to hear what's next. The song remains at fast-pace pretty much all the way through, except for the middle part where everything loosens up and the wandering, jazzy bass takes center stage. "Statues" is up next, but the speed certainly doesn't stop there. Clocking in at about 1:30, this is the shortest but also the fastest song on the 7". There's lots of killer double bass in this one, and every riff is so memorable that you'll want to replay this song at least one more time before moving on to "Au-To-Dafe". Speaking of that, the final track slows down in tempo a few notches and is more traditionally structured than the other two songs on the EP. The riffs get very thrashy in the early Nihilist vein, but everything gets turned upside-down about mid-way when a cosmic guitar solo appears on the horizon, making your head spin in circles. The accompanying slow rhythm riff played behind this solo is extremely heavy. An interesting fact about this song is that some of its lyrics are shared with the title track from Carnage's album "Dark Recollections". Unfortunately, I don't have the actual lyric sheet to either song, but next time you listen to this Carbonized 7" pay close attention to the lyrics on "Au-To-Dafe" and you'll see what I mean.

If aggressive Swedish death metal with originality is what you crave, then this 7" is for you. A highly recommended piece of vinyl history.