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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on July 13, 2011
It is with a heavy heart, but also incredible joy, that I can announce the return of one of Europe's best death metal exports, Decapitated! Not only did I believe this band would never regroup after 2008's(?) tragic bus accident which claimed the life of drummer Vitek and put lead singer Covan in a coma he has yet to emerge from, but if they did, the pieces would be slap-dash and ill fitting. Time heals all wounds, even ones as deep as seeing a brother die, and the spirit of creativity which spawned Decapitated could not be silenced. Carnival Is Forever is similar to other Decapitated releases but very different as well. It shares more in common with Nihility, than with newer releases, and has this hypnotic, driving rhythm, that really engages the listener for the duration. This was always the case with Vitek on drums and his spirit is infused to each track, with enough difference to let new drummer Krimh show his skills and style. Vogg's writing style makes a Meshuggah meets Behemoth template, then covers that with an American metal beatdown provided by Fear Factory and the heavier side of Pantera. This is an all out, extreme metal assault, that pummels like a jackhammer but draws you to listen repeatedly to pull out nuances and slight melodic undertones. New vocalist Rafal Piotrowski has a much higher delivery than Covan, but his frasing and pace remind me of The Negation and Organic Hallucinosis. The recording is very organic, smooth but real. This is a band playing technical SONGS, not a group of musicians trying to get the perfect take and looping bits and pieces together to make sterile, soulless SOUNDS. I really enjoy this release and not only because one of my favorite bands has returned, I can see past my own emotions to know when something sucks. There is some material that slows the album down, and some slight missteps, but this definitely doesn't suck. This is super heavy, super loud, and one of those releases that shows the depth of death metal as a genre. Vogg deserves accolades and praise for even deciding to carry on, and to put out something this good is remarkable. I'm proud of them and so are Covan and Vitek!
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on January 13, 2013
I absolutely love their first few albums. The new album just doesn't do it for me. They have a completely different sound from their first albums. It's not bad, and if you are into their new style it's pretty good, but I just don't like the new style.
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on July 24, 2011
Winds of Creation and Nihility both stands as testaments to the fact that not all fantastic death metal came A.) out of Florida and New York (or Sweden and Finland to those of us in the know) or B.) in the late 80s and early 90s. I never really gave The Negation a proper listen and intend to do so sometime soon. I didn't even know Organic Hallucinosis existed until recently. Now we're up to their latest release which is Carnival is Forever.

I went into this expecting some sort of watered down, less intense Decapitated. Safe to say I was happily disappointed. The music is just as tight and brilliantly played, some genuinely catchy riffs can be found on this album. The problem? The vocals. Sauron's gone; he's not coming back anytime soon, so I tried to make due with the new dude, but he just can't acquire my admiration. The Decapitated I know and love have vocals that sound like early Morbid Angel's more philosophically inclined young brother.

Now, this isn't to say that I want all my death metal vocals to be uniform; I love Mike DiSalvo's work with Cryptopsy (a once great band which is now on their last breath, if that.) Rasta's vocals just don't fit the music, he's more fitting to some kind of metallic hardcore band, maybe a crust or d-beat band, but not Decapitated.
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on August 24, 2011
This is my first Decapitated CD after all these years. Saw some good write ups and decided to try the download. Glad I did. Sorry to read of their tragic past accident, but admire them for forging ahead.

This is an In Your Face, bombastic and punishing Death/Thrash Metal CD. Really excellent. From the straight forward and brutal 'Homo Sum' to the multi-dimensional Title track and Musically adventurous 'A View From A Hole', this CD is ripe for what Death Metal fans crave. But has some really good technical moments as well.

The Very Good:
'The Knife' kills as an opening track.
'Homo Sum' is a great chugging thrash classic. Best track on this CD. Brutal Perfection!
'404' another great track. Cool guitar effects and great drumming. Incredible Drumming.
The title track is 8+ minutes, but keeps your interest and has a lot of Soft/Brutal interaction.
Good time changes.
The Riffs are crunching and stay in your head after the fact. You will go back to it.

The Not Perfect:
The production is great for the most part but the sound itself is VERY loud, to the point where some riffs sound muddy.
Vocally its limited, but as such with the genre.
Too short as the last track is a side note instrumental. Another track or 2 would have helped because you will be craving more when its finished.

Any Death/Thrash head needs this CD. May be one of the best from the genre this year(2011). Just didnt get a 5 because I was wanting more. I will be going into their back catalog.
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on December 29, 2011
This album is a impressive collaboration of founding member guitarist Vogg and co.after the tragic loss of Vogg's brother "Vitek" in 2007 on drums and vocalist "Covan" who is in a coma from a Russian bus crash near Grom.Vogg did a stint in Vader as a touring member and the band returns with this latest offering sounding a little bit like Divine Heresy namely the vocals of new vocalist Rasta sounding like Travis Neal of Divine Heresy's "Bringer of Plagues" era minus the melodic vocal passages.several layers of guitar textures with the technical mastery of Vogg come across sounding like live Kerry King in the "Decade of Aggression" double live cd the lineup includes Heinrich on bass from Poland's deathmetal super group Masachist (Witching hour Productions) and Krimh on drums and Rasta on vocals only 8 tracks are on this album the last track "Silence" being a short melodic acoustical piece.the first track "The Knife" reminds me of Pissing Razors in the first riff, Vogg shines in my opinion on track 7 "Pest" as one of my favorite heavy guitar saturated Slayer type passage and so does Krimh's double bass work..on the special edition you get a dvd that shows you all that went on in the recording studio with english subtitles (the band speaks Polish here most of the time) Vogg messing around on the piano while studio techs used it as a isolation booth for Krimh's double bass drums with matting ect.(first time I have seen this done who ever thought a piano could be a isolation booth for bass drums!?) and giving bassist Heinrich a hard time during his bass tracking and you even see Vogg getting pissed off and impatient during on of his sessions,of all that went on in the studio the band returned with a fury that has no equal even with actually 7 tracks plus one short acoustical piece you get a real heavy bombardment of technical death metal..I wish only good for this band in the future there might possibly be lineup changes in the future but Vogg will always be Decapitated.Key note..Vogg uses custom Ran guitars shaped like the Dean "ML" they are not Dean guitars they are Ran built in Poland and they even use the wings on the Dean logo for the ran logo.Check out Ran guitars gallery on their website.
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on July 12, 2011
I have given this one a few turns and I must say that I love it. If you didn't like Organic Hallucinosis though you wont be into this one. I love all of Decapitated albums but the last two now have put them in a little bit of progressive territory. I really have no other way to describe it. Still very much Death Metal and very technical however they do not have the same straight ahead Death Metal sound of say Cannibal Corpse. A bit more streamlined and sharp. Almost like Megadeth is to thrash. My only complaint is that they could have put a few more songs on the album. The last song, Silence is a throw away. It's a weird atmospheric instrumental. That was the complaint I had for their last album. They are so good that 7 songs is just not enough to satisfy me. Overall I would recommend this to fans of the genre, excellent musicianship and technicallity. Decapitated have risen to the top of the Death Metal heap and should be recognized for it.
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on November 30, 2011
I bought this album based on very positive reviews and I was not disappointed. This whole album sounds like a war is happening. The guitar playing (I know his name, not gonna Butcher it) is insane. Songs like United, Homo Sum and the title track are just blazing hot all the way through. Although in the middle 9th the song Carnival is Forever there is a slow interlude before taking off in to the atmosphere again. Decapitated definitely have my attention. Glad I discovered them
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on July 12, 2011
Ok, I didn't like this at first. It has taken about a dozen listens before the theme and overall composition has settled in. The overall industrial and dissonant sound of the band that was present on The Negation and Organic Hallucinosis has given way to more progressive movements - there are certain sections of songs that actually sound like Opeth minus the clean vocals.

The vocals provided by Rafal Piotrowski move the band in a completely new direction that I'm not sure I appreciate as much as the former two singers. There is less deep gutteral growling and the overall approach to the lyrics is raspy and more screeching with prolonged screams that are piercing rather than reverberating like you get with singers such as Karl Sanders and Dallas Toler-Wade with Nile. The vocals are approaching the style of hardcore. There needs to be more depth here. The lyrics have changed direction with the new singer; less abstractness and surrealist, more metaphor and symbolism.

The musicianship is there. The guitar portions of songs such "Carnival is Forever" are downright brutal and the album as a whole is quite fast. The riffing is technical and the new guitarist and bassist are a big part of the new sound. Drummer Kerim Lechner ,who was recruited via his youtube performance of several of the band's old songs, is a beast. His style is obviously different than Vitek's (RIP brother), but it fits the new sound well. The cooperation that you saw with Kieltyka brothers (one on lead guitar and the other drumming) is gone, so you have to appreciate the new drumming and the way it fits the music.

This is not a rebirth of the old Decapitated. They didn't even try to make an album that continued the trend of the last two albums they made. This is a different entity all together. You have to appreciate it for what it is, not what it used to be. I feel like this is almost the first raw album from a band that has just started, and in a way it is. I can anticipate that the sound will become more cohesive as they release more records.

The long awaited album from the tragedy-recovered Decapitated is damn good. It took a few listens to shake what I thought they should sound like and appreciate what they are trying to do with this album. It is competing with Obscura's new album as album of the year in my mind. If you are a true death metal fan, you'll enjoy this. Don't go into it with concrete expectations that they'll sound like the old Decapitated because they don't - and that is probably a good thing for them and we who listen to them.

Overall Rating: 4.5

P.S. I expect more than ~40 minutes when I buy an album. STOP DOING THAT!
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on July 23, 2011
This album was a breath of fresh air for me, and I believe the metal community as a whole. After the abortion that was Morbid Angel's new album, Some good straight up death metal was desperately needed, and I mean desperately, and what better band to deliver it than Poland's seasoned veterans?

Carnival is Forever sounds like it picks up right where Organic left off, starting off immediately as you pop it in and going straight for your throat. The first thing you may notice is that the new drummer is the absolute best fit that Vogg could have possibly found- but more on that later. Vogg always had a distinct guitar tone and a distinct approach to riffing, and nothing has changed here- save for a brush of Meshuggah off-beat influences. The riffs are technical, fast, and the heaviest you could find anywhere- just listen to the opening riff in "Pest" for proof. That riff could have fit right in on Nihility easily. The guitar sound itself is a little bit overly distorted, but other than that Vogg never failed to impress me as a songwriter, he is pretty much the premier death metal guitarist in my opinion.

As for this new drummer, he is fantastic and a perfect fit after the unfortunate departure of original drummer Vitek. Some of the double bass passages are shockingly fast, yet he never, ever overplays. He also utilizes some very interesting beats as well as cool techniques and makes for an interesting performance front to back.

My only gripes for the album stem from the new singer. I would have rather had a cookie cutter DM vocalist than this guy, but he is a good enough screamer, neither delivering or detracting. He is there just by principal, almost like they just had to fill the gap. Also, the band hired some outside help for lyric writing, and the lyrics are... okay. A little bit odd though. There is literally some passage about a farmer from Montana breeding two headed cattle... being from Montana myself it was amusing but completely incorrect. Anyway, I give this album a solid 89%. An excellent album, and a fine addition to Decapitated's discography.
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on January 11, 2012
I really enjoy listening to alot of death and black metal bands and as soon as I heard the name Decapitated I had a feeling I would like this band. I purchased the CD Carnival Is Forever and my feeling was right I like them alot.
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