Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

April 1, 2013

Carnal Agony ~ Carnal Agony (aka debut) (EP)

(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: heavy metal, death metal, Swedish
Label: self-released
Year: 2012
Home: Sweden

Members: David Johagen ~ vocals
Mathias Wallin, Robert Hedlund ~ guitar
Marcus Nygren ~ bass
Roger Andersson ~ drums

I'll confess this blog undoubtedly reveals the changes in my listening interests & they have indeed changed over the years since I started writing. I started with more extreme metal & have been going more mainstream & melodic, reflecting changes in my own life that are a blog of their own. Today, I want more introspective & clean over brash & raw. I've also been reviewing less & less indie bands as they neither get the page views nor do I find a lot of them as creative & interesting as they say they are. I end up feeling like I'm just reviewing a band I've heard a hundred times & I'm too busy to do that & feel productive. So, when I find an indie extreme metal band I'm interested in reviewing you can be sure they're enjoyable or at least have something of interest beyond the same drudgery. I came across CA's little four song EP & it wasn't what I was expecting. I thought thrashy in your face death metal, but its not. Its far more laidback melodic with riffs that aren't too thick, i.e. aiming for a wall of one sound, even with two guitars, though nothing particularly out of the ordinary. The fact that the guitars don't play the same thing but intertwine like Mercyful Fate or more particularly Iron Maiden is what makes it musically interesting. While non-growling quite decent singing, or at least interesting with its almost Glenn Danzig wannabe feel, really knocks this album up a notch. The songs also include fast moments & slower moments, a trait that could be even further developed I feel. The opening of the guitar solo on "Rebels Lament" brings the song to a crawl before things kick back to the double bass approach. While "Secrets Within The Shrine" allows the bass to first get heard out of the shadow of the guitars & it's a good moment that should be developed more often. The result is a band that tries to bridge a gap between normal heavy metal & death metal with a hint of thrash, but without the speed. Musically it's not as carnal nor as agonizing as the band might want. They might be disappointed, but it works for me quite well & by sounding more like early Iron Maiden rather than Slayer I stay interested. CA was formed in northern Sweden in 2011 & do include Maiden & Fate as mentors in their publicity ... & for once a band that sounds like who they say they like. While taking a few more risks on further recordings, as this is their debut, I believe will really move this band to greater heights. They've already got a strong foundation.

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