“Chapel of Abhorrence”

By Dr. Abner Mality

It’s official: all the good death metal band names have been taken. Now we get ripping chainsaw metal named after flowers. What’s next…bands called BEGONIA or HONEYSUCKLE?

I am a huge fan of the old Stockholm death metal sound pioneered by Entombed, Dismember, et al. I like the sound so much that I will let a lot of things slide when evaluating bands in that genre. Carnation is just really generic Swedish death metal. How these guys landed a plum contract with Season of Mist when a million similar bands are around is a strange conundrum. I don’t really hate what Carnation is doing here, but Jesus, this is Swe-death assembled by robots. Riffs, production, vocal growls, cover art, song titles…all come out of the manual of Swedish Death 101. There’s no twist here, no sign of individuality.

Will this do if you’re dying for that oldschool DM? Sure, the sound is right and competently produced. Will you remember any of it tomorrow? No way. There are bands out there trying to tweak the style, even if just a bit. Seek them out. 

Botanically speaking. Carnation is closer to dandelion than its namesake.