10/13/11

Decapitated: The Negation VS. Carnival Is Forever

So I bought Decapitated's Carnival Is Forever (2011) some time ago and while I was at it, I also picked up The Negation (2004) by the same band. Simply because it was on sale.
Ok, it does have a few songs on it that I knew were good (The Fury and Sensual Sickness), and it is Decapitated after all, so it can't be too bad. Money well spent.
Thus, I have now a great opportunity to write a comprehensive comparison of these two Decapitated albums.. A comprehensive comparison in this case translates into an inconsistent vomit of random thoughts. Sorry.

Background information: The Negation was published in 2004. The original line-up's last album was Organic Hallucinosis, which came out in 2006. I haven't listened to that album much, yet, so I'll leave it for now. Although, I know it's a great album. 
Decapitated was in a car accident in 2007, in which the drummer Vitek died and the vocalist Covan was injured severely. The current line-up now has only one of the original members left, Vogg, the guitarist, Vitek's brother. He and Vitek founded the band in 1996.

As I explained in my previous Decapitated ramble, my history with the band does not go very far. In fact, it only goes back about a month or so. Carnival Is Forever was the first album by Decapitated that I paid close attention to, so I never felt the 2007 tragedy from a fan's perspective.
Decapitated is now a very different band to what it was in 2004. I don't know whether I would've recognized The Negation to be a Decapitated album only based on Carnival Is Forever. Probably not. I don't think Vogg deliberately wanted to lead the band into a different direction now with the new line-up - staying under the Decapitated name must be a sign of something. Also, Vitek's spirit lives on CIF, in the compositions.

If it's not clear already, I definitely prefer Carnival Is Forever to The Negation. During the weeks I've listened to the album over and over again it has become one of my favorite (death) metal albums. It has the right amount of all the different ingredients that make a good metal album. The perfect recipe with brutality, clarity, technicality, approachability, hooks, melodies... All played by insanely talented musicians.
The main difference in my ears with CIF and Negation is the coldness. Yes, I'm talking about temperatures again. The Negation is at the very cold end of the scale, whereas CIF is a lot warmer. At times it's burning hot. It is directly linked to (my) emotions: the colder the sound, the harder it is to find a human connection to the music. The Negation is a technical album, but CIF is not JUST a technical album. By adding different elements, the band has managed to sound a lot warmer on CIF.

One factor in creating the coldness in The Negation is the vocalist, Sauron. He was the original vocalist in Decapitated, The Negation being his last album with the band. Not a very diverse vocalist, I must say. Is there any changes in the tone of his voice, ever? Hmm. Well, that's his style and I respect it, but I prefer a more human vocalist -  like Covan in Organic Hallucinosis, or Rasta in the new Decapitated line-up. Yeah. Nothing wrong with Covan, but Rasta blew my mind on CIF. He is incredible. Instantly at the top of my favorite metal vocalist list. Extremely diverse. He doesn't do much lows, his style is more screaming than growling, which certainly brings in the humane side. I always thought I prefer a low tone in unclean singing, but here's a fucking exception to the rule.. Crappy deathcore singers should pay attention to this guy.
Rasta definitely makes this album sound more human. Monotonous, machine-like vocals would've absolutely degraded the album. He is also very different to Covan (and Sauron, for that matter), which is a very good thing in my opinion: the audience won't see him as just a substitute for Covan.

Decapitated in 2011: Rasta (vocals), Heinrich (bass), Krimh (drums), Vogg (guitars).  I don't know whether Heinrich is in the band anymore..? [Pic from Decapitated's Facebook page.]
Another humanizing element in the new Decapitated is Krimh, the drummer. Yeah, I've praised him before.. But CIF is a great manifestation of his talent. The difference to Vitek has to be in the groove that he brings to the sound. I guess Organic Hallucinosis was also drum-wise more varied and groovier than the Negation, but, again, I can't say much about that. Based on my experience on The Negation, Vitek on that album was more than anything a metal drummer, and an exceptionally good one. He transformed into a more versatile drummer on Organic Hallucinosis, and it seems Krimh followed his footsteps on that style. Krimh is not just a metal drummer. It sounds as though he takes influences from all over, and isn't afraid to experiment with new styles. Vogg and Krimh composed the songs on CIF together, some of the songs being based on Vogg and Vitek's older creations, but Krimh's contribution can be heard deep in the song structures. He's got the groove, all right..

For comparison, here's the most boring song on The Negation (Three-Dimensional Defect, monotonous much?) versus one of the catchiest songs on Carnival Is Forever (Pest). Pick your choice.

Nevertheless, The Negation is not complete bullshit. I think the basis upon which they build is the same on both albums, so there's bound to be something to like. My favorites are Lying and Weak (although the beginning always cracks me up.. I don't know why.. :'D), Sensual Sickness, The Fury, and Long-Desired Dementia, which I'll embed below. The charm in these is different than in CIF songs.
Overall rating for The Negation, from my personal point of view, as always: 6,8/10. A good metal album, but too cold for my taste.



Carnival Is Forever is pure eargasm from start till finish so it's hard to pick favorites. Some of the songs I've talked about before, but more attention to awesomeness is never a bad thing. United is one of those songs that's almost too good to be true. Truly a masterpiece. Full of energy. A View from a Hole is one of the longer, more epic songs on the album. The anticipation of aggression on that song is like.. like staring at a delicious meal so long your mouth is watering, and then, once you get to devour it... Total fulfillment of senses. The diversity of elements simply within that song is amazing. Perfection.
Recently, The Knife has been on the top of my playlist every day. Such an insanely energetic song, extremely inspirational. A perfect beginning for anything creative.. Like this album. LISTEN TO IT. The Knife embedded below.
Rating for Carnival Is Forever: 9,3/10. This album is AMAZING.



Next on my shopping list: Organic Hallucinosis..

No comments:

Post a Comment