San Diego's Carnifex have slowly altered their sound over the course of five albums to incorporate much more depth into their deathcore style. With Die Without Hope, their first album for Nuclear Blast, the band have continued to refine the blackened death metal element that started to pop up on 2011s Until I Feel Nothing. Vocalist Scott Lewis does a pretty commendable job mixing up some deep growls & bellows with a higher register black metal styled shriek, usually throwing both types at the listener throughout each song. "Salvation is Dead" and "Condemned to Decay" are two great examples of how he's just plastering the landscape with his venom and injecting the songs with no shortage of variety. Guitarists Jordan Lockrey & Cory Arford do their part as well, laying down a wide assortment of crushing riffs and the occasional blazing solo, while the rhythm team of drummer Shawn Cameron and bassist Fred Calderon add in the necessary bottom end. Some well placed synths & strings in spots add that 'symphonic black metal' feel, but for the most part what you get is just brutal blackened death, as on the rampaging "Hatred and Slaughter" and "Dragged Into the Grave".
Thankfully, Carnifex have toned down much of the 'core elements of their sound, so don't look for non-stop breakdowns here (though they do pop up in spots), instead, it's a pretty decent, if unspectacular, modern extreme metal album. Give these guys credit for at least trying to mix up their music a bit in hopes of separating themselves somewhat from the multitude of faceless bands pumping out deathcore these days.
1. "Salvation Is Dead" 4:40
2. "Dark Days" 3:34
3. "Condemned to Decay" 3:36
4. "Die Without Hope" 5:23
5. "Hatred and Slaughter" 4:12
6. "Dragged into the Grave" 3:54
7. "Rotten Souls" 3:57
8. "Last Words" 2:59
9. "Reflection of the Forgotten" 1:05
10. "Where the Light Dies" 4:44