Chuck Schuldiner Project

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

In Harmonic Entropy

So today I am bringing you a review of a stellar melodeath album from Portugal, Karnak Seti. Their 2011 release In Harmonic Entropy shows a band ready to explode. With a very tight and organized sound that combines elements from various genres Karnak Seti creates a very solid sounding slab of melodic death metal. There are all of the elements of a classic melodeath record here. From solid guitars with soaring solos. To a thudding bass that brings the songs full heaviness out. Meanwhile the drums have got quite the technical attack going with a lot of really cool fills that flavor some of the more standard runs. Finally, evil sounding growls add a touch of old school death metal anger to a very polished overall sound. All in all, this is a record that is filled with great melodies and destructively powerful riffs.

The guitar playing on this album is a truly impressive mix. On one hand you have really brutal riffs that can even get to a deathcore level of brutality at times. They have a heavy and powerful sound that can draw in a fan of more extreme genres. Meanwhile there are some absolutely stunning solos and shockingly melodic riffs. This creates a really impressive balance that will keep you rocking for the entire duration of the record. The progressions are really well thought out and even hooky at times. For example the song Loss is a really good example of an almost pop-punk chord progression that somehow lends itself to the metal genre. Suffice to say that Renato Ramo and Antonio Jesus do a great job in composing some brilliant songs that take the listener on a journey and make this record very memorable.

The bass work on this record is remarkably well done and actually reminds me a lot of the bass work done in In Flames. The bass is filled with tension, seemingly ready to explode. I really like its place in the mix, it lends everything a bit more energy. In particular the extremely solid playing on Among the Sleepless really helps to build you up for the dominating ending. All in all, their bassist, Claudio Augiar is a true master and really knows how to fit his work into the compositions. Meanwhile the drums feature a lot of really cool licks and fills that add a lot of taste to what is otherwise a mix of some pretty standard melodeath parts. That is not to say that they are not well arranged. In fact I would compare their implementation to that of solid prog-death bands like Between the Buried and Me. They team up perfectly with the bass to create solid parts that really add a lot of energy to the pieces and explode during the musical climaxes. Overall, this groups rhythm section is truly excellent.

Finally, we have the vocals courtesy of Luis Erre. His growls are very reminiscent of old school death metal masters like Chuck Schuldiner. This adds a really cool quality to the music giving it a bit of a thrash edge. With Erre on their side Karnak Seti becomes melodeath with a bit more of a bite. However, there is also more of an experimental side which has its day on songs like Only Red Mist Descends where a trippy clean vocal effect comes in and gives a bit of a Cynic feel. I find the occasional use of vocal effects pretty cool as it really shines in some of the musical climaxes as well as adding a layer that many melodeath bands can not claim to have. Overall, the growling on this record is twisted and evil, yet when counteracted with a more experimental side we find the perfect balance.

In conclusion, Karnak Seti's latest release is a new melodeath masterpiece. In a genre that has long been considered dead, or at least weakened, Karnak Seti puts out In Harmonic Entropy and proves that there is still a lot that can be done with this kind of music. This is one of those albums that has a bit of everything and will appeal to every sort of metal head. With heavy guitar that are at once riff-filled and also highly melodic the band draws you in. Meanwhile a very solid rhythm section prepares you for some musical explosions. Last of all, the evil sounding vocals take you back to Florida in the early 90s and remind us all of the roots of this incredible genre. So friends, go check out Karnak Seti's latest release, it will blow your mind!

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