ALBUM REVIEW: Bonecarver – Carnage Funeral
The metal world ebbs and flows, the scene goes through trends and things circle back around. Take the deathcore scene. This time ten years ago bands such as Suicide Silence, Carnifex and Whitechapel were blowing minds with a fresh take on how extreme music should be played. Now in the early 2020’s we have established bands such as Lorna Shore, Ingested and Slaughter to Prevail, who are at the peak of their popularity and are helping to drag the scene back into the limelight, leading the way for a plethora of new bands.
Enter Bonecarver. The Spaniards exploded onto the scene with the savage debut release Evil back in 2021, and have since made a name for themselves with their own dark take on the brutal death metal/deathcore genre. Now, with their second album Carnage Funeral locked and loaded, the band are looking to take the next creative step in their career and make the world take real notice.
The eponymous album opener is ambitious to say the least. A six-and-a-half-minute musical odyssey complete with a dramatic introduction that wouldn’t be out of place on a Dimmu Borgir album. When the track kicks in the relentless barrage of blast beats, guttural vocals, and intricate riffs that all interplay with the grandiose atmospherics shows exactly what Bonecarver is about on this sophomore effort. And that is musical expanse and exploration.
The album continues very much in the same vein with Ancient Atrocity. Another cavalcade of impossibly complex rhythmic patterns and tremolo riffing, all giving vocalist Fernando del Villar a platform to perform his vocal acrobatics from. The skin-flaying pace at which Thorned begins is as exciting as it is terrifying, and as the song develops the audience will discover that it had every reason to be afraid. This is crushing brutality, delivered with the kind of surgical precision that has become so synonymous with all of the bands currently being signed to Unique Leader Records. One of the shining lights in the underground world of extreme metal.
Morgue Desecrator is about as obscene of a song as the title suggests. The guttural vocals of del Villar cut through the pulverising, dissonant riffs and machine gun drumming, to create the kind of controlled chaos that only Bonecarver can deliver. This is as close to technical death metal that Bonecarver have drifted to at this point and makes for one of the real highlights on the album. This is an avenue that the band would do well to venture down again at some point, as it adds a whole other dimension to their sound.
The band have built on the foundations of Evil and have created something more polished with Carnage Funeral. Even when you get to the closing track Bereavement there is no sign of a slowing of the pace. The mission statement remains the same, as the audience is once again subjected to a volley of skull-splintering, low-tuned instrumentals as they punch through the ethereal female vocal introduction. The ferocity with which this song is delivered is intoxicating, and will get even the most gatekeeping metalheads banging their head along and pulling that famous ‘stank face’.
They say that the sophomore release is one of the toughest hurdles that any young band has to negotiate. Apparently nobody told Bonecarver this, as they have not only equaled their debut release but surpassed it in a way that few would have thought possible. This is the sound of a band who have been flying under the radar for far too long, who seem ready to take the scene by the scruff of the neck and make them pay attention.
Standout Tracks: Ancient Atrocity, Thorned, Morgue Desecrator
For Fans Of: Within Destruction, Shadow of Intent, Distant, Cannibal Grandpa
Written by: Richard Webb