Carnifex returned from hiatus in 2013, with Die Without Hope being the first release since their return, and clearly there is absolutely no intention on holding back anything. They sound arguably more menacing, more composed, more focused than they did on their previous outing Until I Feel Nothing. For this record they have teamed up with Producer Mark Lewis, who has recently worked with the likes of Devildriver, Whitechapel and The Black Dahlia Murder. After the haunting opening to Salvation Is Dead the bone-crunching, smash mouth deathcore riffs rip through you, and don’t really let up for the next 40 odd minutes.
There is definitely room for the same criticisms of their earlier work to creep in, of it perhaps being a bit too much of the same, and there being perhaps a lack of ingenuity, but there are some really killer tracks on Die Without Hope which easily overwhelms those thoughts entering your head. The title track is a particularly menacing slab of ferocity, which is then followed up by perhaps the track of the album Hatred And Slaughter, which blends brilliantly the deathcore style shredding with some really heavy and bouncy groove fuelled riffs. Drummer Shawn Cameron in particular comes into the fore throughout this track, and the album as a whole. The musicianship as a whole is brilliantly tight, something that they do replicate live. A lot of the tracks on this album feel like they would have a greater aggression and feel live, so they are definitely worth checking out if you get the opportunity.
Much like the previous album, it felt like the focus was mainly on their Black/Death Metal influences, and whilst the record drops off a little in the middle, the finale of Reflection of the Forgotten and Where The Light Dies is absolutely brilliant. This track is just so heavy and full of passion, some of the guitar work in particular the best they’ve ever produced.
All in all then, after a short hiatus, this is a top album to announce their return. It will no doubt prove to be a gateway into some of their back catalogue as well. Well worth picking this one up.