Atmospheric music has such a unique ability to draw in a listener. Nothing else can completely dominate your emotions. It can leave you full of depression or make you soar with triumphant joy. Sometimes it does a lot of these things at once. Deadly Carnage pull all of this off expertly on their most recent release, Through the Void, Above the Suns.
This band is interesting for a lot of reasons. It’s very rare for atmospheric post-black bands to infuse other forms of metal and feeling into their music, but Deadly Carnage does it quite well. They infuse a sense of doom into all their tracks. It results in an overwhelming depressive feeling to their music. Given the cosmic nature of the album, it gives you the feeling of being very small and insignificant. It really puts the universe in perspective for you.
However, that should not be taken as a negative critique of the album. Not by a longshot. The music gives you the feeling of exploration. There’s a vastness to the music Deadly Carnage has created on this record. Despite filling your ears with sound and music, there’s some space to this record. It can be equated to an introspective dream sequence: it feels like floating through space, seeing galaxies and systems, watching black holes and supernovas, just considering your own place in the universe and contemplating your own life.
“Divide” is the greatest exemplar of this idea. The guitars start with classic black metal tremolo picking on a basic chord. The drums bust in and are riding away with blast beats, both laying a base for the rest of the song to build on and also really driving the beat forward. The twin guitars then layer the melody, a very positive sounding chord riff. Vocalist Alexios Ciancio sings cleanly over the progressing song underneath. It all feels very spacey in the sense that you’re floating through the stars.
Deadly Carnage can definitely lean into the darker side of things, too. The doomier side of their take on post-black can be totally oppressive. The way they can lay on the darker and heavier side of their sound completely overwhelms the senses. It’s like the music is saying, “The universe is bigger than you, and we are going to let you know just how small and insignificant you are.” After the intro track “Quantum,” Deadly Carnage gives a double dose with “Matter”. The guitars feel so much heavier and blasting on this track. The more plodding tempo of this song just lays it on even more, and the shouting vocals let you know that the band is also kind of angry at just how small you are.
2018 has been the gift that keeps on giving, particularly when it comes to atmospheric black metal. Few releases, however, have the sweeping epic emotional journey that Deadly Carnage has produced with Through the Void, Above the Suns. It’s depressing. It’s transcendent. It’s melodic. It’s dissonant. It’s all the things. Normally a record that’s trying as much as this one suffers from being a jack of all trades but a master of none. Not so with this record. You’re going to need multiple listens to hear everything this record has to offer. Hope you’ve got some great headphones.
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Through the Void, Above the Suns is available now and can be purchased via the above Bandcamp link.