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Hackneyed: Carnival Cadavre

As the title implies, Carnival Cadavre is a twisted and humorous concoction of modern death metal, and the slightly-grotesque album cover provides pretty good insight as to what's contained on this CD. Right after the eerie carnival-styled opening in "Raze the Curtain", Hackneyed unleash a brutal, groove-oriented death metal adventure that should appeal to fans of death metal with a sleek, modern edge. I can't say that I was blown away by Carnival Cadavre's fairly generic and conventional songwriting, but there are enough positive traits here to make this a solid purchase for fans of this German death metal act.

Hackneyed play a style of brutal death metal with a heavy emphasis on groove-based riffs and occasional metalcore-styled breakdowns. The music on Carnival Cadavre isn't anything too groundbreaking, but it's so well-played and professional that I have to applaud Hackneyed for their ability as musicians. Tim Cox's precise and technical drumming especially stands out to me; his playing is outstanding, to say the least! Phillip Mazal's diverse vocal abilities are also an important aspect of Carnival Cadavre, and even though I'm not a huge fan of all of his styles, his ability to combine gutteral growls, high-pitched screams, pig squeals, and thrash metal shouts, often in a single track, is impressive. The sleek and modern production is also one of Carnival Cadavre's biggest selling points.

All in all, Carnival Cadavre is a simply well-made album. The musicianship is outstanding, the production is highly impressive, and the riffs are generally well-done. Carnival Cadavre isn't a flawless effort, though, and the music often feels too sterile to really strike a chord with me. Even though this is "technically" an impressive album, the somewhat generic compositions and formulaic songwriting approach make this one less then essential. There's still kick-ass material here - just not quite enough to make it stand out from the hordes of other death metal albums out there. I'd say 3 stars are deserved here.

Track Listing:
1. Raze The Curtain
2. Bugging For Mercy
3. Infinite Family
4. Damn (You're Dead Again)
5. Maculate Conception
6. Coulrophobia
7. Circus Coccus Spirilly
8. Magic Malignacy
9. Feed The Lions
10. Cure The Obscure
11. Holy Slapstick

Added: August 27th 2011
Reviewer: Jeff B
Related Link: Hackneyed Website
Hits: 2766
Language: english

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