Hackneyed – Carnival Cadavre

Lifeforce Records

Review by Luke Helstrip

Hackneyed are a German Death Metal band that have been going since 2006. Carnival Cadavre is the band’s 3rd studio album released by Lifeforce Records. These guys are really young, averaging around 18.

So the good stuff I hear you say? Well sadly there isn’t much on this album to get really excited about, which is a little disappointing to be truthful. The stand-out track for me is the opener, Raze the Curtain. It starts with a really old school clown tune with a circus master talking and turns all sinister with him talking about “tearing people limb from limb”, then breaks into an awesome rhythmic section, which I can’t help headbanging to. Other than that, most of the album is pretty unspectacular, apart from little gems knocking around in a few of the songs, like the intro riff for Feed The Lions. It shows off the band’s technical abilities and is still a cool riff.

That’s about it for the good things, which is a bit sad really. So what’s so bad? Well lots…. The vocals through the whole album change from low drone to pig squeals. Now, low drones are fine, but not them alone. It means no track has contrast to one another; it’s the same for the guitar work and drums…. No track stands out from each other, which for me is a big problem. In my last review, of Anvil’s album, I pointed out that each track should be different to each other. The same can’t be said for this album. No track stands out. I listened to the album 4 or 5 times and only picked out one distinct track: the first one, and that’s only because of the clown tune at the start. If that wasn’t there, it would be the same as every other track.

Now I know blast beats are in so many genres of metal, even used in some of my favourite tracks of all time. However saying that, the blasts beats on this album are horrible. For me they occur too frequently and are too noticeable. They are used as if the drummer couldn’t think of anything else to put in, and due to how the drums are mixed at these points, they over power anything else going on at the time. When they kick in I lose all interest in the track, as it just means another boring section where the snare drum is being wailed on, which doesn’t interest me in the slightest.

Now I feel bad for ripping on this album. Yes it has its flaws, but I can’t fault it on its ability to make you want to mosh. I’m sure these songs played live are pretty brutal, real pit inducing stuff; but the album as a whole is repetitive and boring.

To sum this album up, if you’re really into the death metal scene then this might be worth a listen, but it does nothing different to many Death Metal bands.

Album rating – **

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