Seen as one of the leading lights of the deathcore scene, Carnifex have gained a lot of notice in the metal and social media. If “Slow Death” is any indicator to go by, it’s another case of hype building up the mediocre to a status far beyond that it deserves.
“Slow Death” in a word, is boring.
Music is supposed to cause some sort of strong reaction in a listener, whether it be raptures of ecstasy at a Beethoven symphony or Slayer’s “Reign In Blood”, or disgust at vile Autopsy lyrics, or even uncomfortable laughter at terribly politically incorrect Anal Cunt song titles. Apathy is not a strong nor useful reaction to music, which is what this album induces.
Yes, the band members in Carnifex are highly skilled musicians. Yes, the music has excellent production values. These are not what’s at fault here. The biggest problem is the straight-jacketed genre of music these musicians perform. It is unoriginal, predictable, interchangeable, and ultimately dull.
There’s no need to isolate any highlights, because there aren’t any, but there’s no discernible low points either. This album is ten tracks of heavy, competently executed metal, with death metal-ish vocals and a few electronic flourishes. All ten are virtually indistinguishable.
Deathcore’s protectors will rabidly devour this album. That is their right. It is also the right of everyone else not to have to subject themselves to such uninspiring music.