Produced by Robbe Kok (Officium Triste, Houwitser). Drums recorded by Dave Schinkel (Ayreon, Epica). Artwork by Jon Zig (Defeated Sanity, Deeds of Flesh). Released on Friday 9 June on Brutal Mind.
For fans of Death, Bolt Thrower, Massacre, Suffocation
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That is all I said when I listened to the first few minutes of Dutch death metal masters Carceri’s first release in more than a decade. From Source to End is a monstrously heavy album and every bit as good as I had hoped.
The production and mixing is spot on, finding that sweet spot where bass, drums and gutteral vocals have the space to breathe and resonate while the upper registers sparkle.
Does death metal sparkle? ✨ Moving on…
I felt the same excitement with this album that I did the first time I listened to Gorefest who are also from the Netherlands. What is it about the Dutch? Now fronted by renowned extreme metal vocalist Robbe Kok, Carceri hammer the nails of destruction home with merciless, relentless power. Seething, monstrous tracks leave no stone unturned, no sanctuary inviolate as they preach their gospel of devastation.
Or as the press release put it:
From the beginning an ending was decreed; our time was always finite and we were always destined to tumble into the flames at the end of the road. There will be no gentle descent into eternal sleep; we shall be impaled upon the spikes of folly, torn upon the racks of shame as our aeons of weakness and sin are weighed against our blackened, cowardly hearts. Save your beseeching tears and prepare for pain, for the termination in terror promised at our first breath…
The first few tracks (“Unbound”, “Single burning eye” and “All men must die”) are relentless in their devastating power, like three movements of the same piece, an almost triptych of death metal.
The title track, “From source to end” (track 4), opens with a riff that swings and breathes before settling into a frantic gallop that is complemented by a thrilling guitar solo.
“Crusaders” (track 5) has a bit of a Fear Factory vibe. I can only presume from the soundtrack of this invasion that these crusaders are conquering the core of the earth by their granite crushing riffs. This song has a wonderfully pleasing riff that I could listen on repeat all day.
I was just saying to someone the other day how much I miss metal bands including delicately played guitar pieces as counterpoints to their crushingly heavy songs. Well, thank you Carceri, the introduction to “Soul shadow” (track 6) absolutely sits among the best.
“The eminent demise” (track 7) is a relentless barage of power and creativity. Not content with the wall-of-noise, the track takes off into more melodic areas without losing any of its ferocity and impact. This is good.
Album closer, “Second to none” (track 8) blends almost perfectly from the previous track and takes a few attempts to get going, but when it does, it doesn’t disappoint. While many bands front-load their albums with their bests tracks, I really feel like Carceri have done the opposite, not that the first four tracks were poor—far from it.
Enticing, melodic guitar solos spiral upwards from the ironclad riffs and the panzer engine roar of the rhythm section, while barbed hooks sink deep allowing no escape from the magnificent war-torn tumult. By capturing the essence of death metal’s glory days and imbuing those sounds with a fresh ferocity Carceri have carved out a charismatic beast of an album whose claws will plunge into the rotten hearts of fans everywhere.
At a little over 28 minutes, Carceri have delivered a veritable beast of classic death metal with From Source To End. Could this be death metal’s equivalent of thrash metal’s Reign in Blood? Each time I have listened to this album—and I have been listening to it all day—I have been disappointed. Some albums overstay their welcome, this one is over too soon. The sudden silence that replaces the near-half-hour of constant turmoil makes the absence almost tangible.
It’s not a perfect album, ironically, I thought the title track was the weakest, but damn! it’s good. Very good. Absolutely, more of this please!
Review score: 95%
Imperative PR contacted me inviting me to preview Carceri forthcoming album, thank you. I have no connections to either Imperative PR or Carceri. I’m not being paid to review this. But I did get a free digital copy of the album to review which is pretty cool. Many thanks to Imperative PR, and to Carceri for continuing to create fresh, exciting death metal.