Sentiero II – Ceneri, the second full-length from the Italian Deadly Carnage, is a mix of black and doom metal with four of its six tracks being at least seven minutes in length. From out of a thunderous rumble emerges the galloping riffs, double kick work, and shrieking vocals of 'Guilt of Discipline', a darkly melodic black metal tune that is a pulverising opener. And just before the repetition of the structure makes the song formulaic, the atmospheric closing section enters, its torturous guitar melody slicing through the shade. The acoustic intro of 'Parallels' with its mournful lead guitar line slowly builds into a tremolo-picked doom-like section. The doom feel is maintained for the first five minutes until a mid-paced metal battery is unleashed for about ninety seconds before returning to the acoustic section from the beginning, this time featuring anguished and melodic vocals that build again into the black metal gallop. Where 'Epitaph Part I' is an onslaught of black metal riffs and galloping drums, its lyrics a misanthropic depiction of the futility of the investing of hope into human existence, its counterpart, 'Epitaph Part II', uses acoustic guitar in the intro to add an atmosphere of solitude against the black metal backdrop, the lyrics further depicting the emptiness of a world devoid of hope. 'Growth and New Gods' continues the black metal assault with a few chugging riffs juxtaposed with blast beats, the acoustic section with the lead melody accentuating the torment of solitude and suffering. 'Ceneri' is a near-ten minute piece that is very different to the other five tracks. Keyboards and soft guitar sounds act as the backdrop to the lament sung in Italian. This may not sit well with black metal purists but it is a very effective piece that, though maybe a little long, is given further weight by what has preceded it. Misanthropic, epic, and bleak.
The song lengths may be an issue for some as it can become repetitive, even monotonous at times. The vocals are very expressive, however, and enhance the mood of each song. The variations in the guitar work such as in the slower sections and the acoustic passages work very well and provide an interesting dimension to what could have otherwise been a standard black metal album. The production could have been better as the songs are dynamically structured but sometimes sound flat, and though that may have been the intention, it can detract from the intended full effect. That said, each instrument has its own space and the dynamics and subtleties of each song are allowed to cut through. If you like black metal with a more modern sound that's not simply a regurgitation of what's been done, then give this Deadly Carnage a blast.
- Guilt of Discipline
- Epitaph Part I
- Epitaph Part II
- Growth and New Gods