REVIEW: Karnæ – Evil Is A Necessity EP

Band: Karnæ
Album: Evil Is A Necessity EP
Release: 2011
Label: Self-released
Genre: Deathcore/Groove metal

Apparently if you look up “deathcore” in Karnæ’s dictionary, a very different picture is painted from the stereotypical approach taken by other bands. Hailing from Italy, this meat-oriented* quintet take groove metal as a template, then add other influences which bring them close to the deathcore border, but never completely crossing it. Comprising of 4 tracks in 23 minutes, their début Evil Is A Necessity EP is a culmination of grooving Machine Head with some Parkway Drive mixed in, an odd combination on paper but it works.

Opening with a Slayer-like riff was certainly not how I expected “Lucifer In The Sky With Diamond” to start, (three guesses what inspired that title) but soon the band started flirting with a cool chug-like breakdown, more in the metalcore variety, from axemen Kaio and Marco. Andrea’s drumming keeps time in a noisy fashion and Fra on bass provides some low-end to the chunky riffs. The band divide their songs into sections, most noticeably on “Soulless” which switches between chug and melody for most of the 7-minute song, but lacks that touch of originality to make it more memorable. That said, there are many a headbang-worthy moment once you get into the groove, and the buildup from clean to harsh is well-executed.

“Quiet Place” marks a departure in their sound, turning into a metal ballad for two-thirds of the song, allowing vocalist Simone to explore his more melodic singing style instead of shrieking and growling like the other tracks. He has an enjoyable singing voice, but for some reason fails to articulate the words properly, resulting in a baritone mumble where I still can’t make out the lyrics. The music takes on a melancholic feel, and is far removed from deathcore, but certainly has little room for complaint, especially the Darkest Hour pseudo-solo before the heavy section kicks in.

This last section leads nicely to the concluding track, “Blood”, where all the best Karnæ elements come together for a strong finisher. The high screams are one of the better deathcore vocals I’ve heard, and with the great metalcore-like guitar melodies, I can easily mark this as my favorite of the EP, despite a rather odd film sample which talks about the EP’s title, but that’s a minor point of contention.

In short, Karnæ have delivered a strong if not overly original 4-song punch with Evil Is A Necessity. I’d still question whether they are deathcore or not, but splitting hairs does not detract from them making enjoyable music. Fans of groove metal and deathcore alike should check this out, and I like forward to when new material emerges.

Rating: 5.5/10

Song to try:

Official site: http://karnae.blogspot.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/karnae
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/KARN%C3%86/355599874630


*carne = meat in Italian

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