In The Halls of the Wicked
(Lake of Fire Productions – 2014)
When you walk the earth of metal for a couple of years you get familiar with all the trademarks, the twists and turns of the genres compass and the general tendency to simplify every band description to a more comfortable landscape to your ears. It’s really quite simple, we all want to know what we are about to listen and in which box can we place it later. At the same time, we all wish to be surprised and sit on the worthy throne of those whose ears have been awarded with the almighty awesomeness of heavy music! Well, you say, enough with the setup and tell us what we want to know about KARNIVORE’s “In the Halls of the Wicked”!
Let’s start by saying that, although we’re talking about a Swedish death metal band, they sound nothing like the standard we’ve grown to listen and love so much. That’s a good thing. KARNIVORE have their own thing going on here and I guess the reason for that has to do with the way they blend their death metal DNA with some thrash spontaneity, add the much appreciated melody lines and, just for the sake of it, sprinkle everything with a little black metal whispers on top. They also sponsor a different guitar tone from most of the Swedish acts and that works on their favor when it comes to being set apart from the usual metal norms.
Is “In the Halls of the Wicked” going to take you on that throne rush I mentioned earlier? I really don’t know. There are many things here I really like and not mentioning ‘Psycho’ as an awesome song/riff would be an enormous crime on my record! I went for it several times, even with other good tracks such as ‘Ut Ur Askan’, ‘The Warden’ and ‘Under Ground’! Can’t really say that this reeks awesomeness through all its pores, but it sure has plenty of moments to get you off your ass with a raised fist!
[reviewed by: Rui Marujo]