I first came across Carcer City when they opened up for Attila on The European Chaos Tour in April 2017 with The Word Alive. I knew they were from Liverpool and signed to Chris Fronzak’s Stay Sick Recordings label, but that was it. Carcer City were second on the bill and put on a stunning live show that blew everyone else off the stage, with the exception of headliners Attila themselves who they ran pretty damn close. That’s right, Carcer City destroyed The Word Alive. That’s how good they were. That very night, I went home and purchased a copy of “Infinite Unknown”. They were also one of the main draws for me to UK Tech-Fest 2017. So… what’s the album like?
Released in 2016, “Infinite Unknown” is Carcer City’s third full length album following on from 2012’s “The Road Journals” and 2009’s debut “The Life We Chose”. The album opens up with “Infiltrator” which sets the tone. Tech-Metal grooves with buried keys, powerful uncleans and a powerful clean sung chorus “And we run, chasing the sun” that is perfect for the sing along. “Perceptions” follows similar lines and features Aaron Matts from Betraying The Martyrs who’s unmistakable deathcore growls stand out and act as the perfect foil for Carcer City vocalist Patrick Pinion’s clean vocal range. The track has a fine balance, blending the heavy, the melody and the groove, crushing guitars but also a play on the silent gaps between the breakdowns.
We then hit “Black Mirror” which is a tale that everyone who chases a dream will be familiar with. Loved ones are left behind and in those quiet moments you wonder if they will still be there for you when you return. While starting off melodic, the track gets heavier and brings the Carcer City signature groove as it flows. It’s a powerful demonstration of Patrick Pinion’s story telling abilities. Next up is the title track of the album, “Infinite Unknown”. Coming off of the melody of “Black Mirror”, the pace is immediately upped and Pinion continues to throw out the powerful sign along lyrics and hooks, this time with the line “I play both God and the Devil, both Creator and mere Mortal”.
Full Album Stream
“Wolf Without A Pack” adds more electronics to Carcer City’s sound while also continuing the themes of “Black Mirror”. The band flawlessly take you from a clean sung melody to a brutal scream and crushing guitar breakdown in seconds. “Sovereign” uses a spoken word sample intro and keeps the electronic elements, using them to counter play the breakdowns and bridge. The songs hit with that Tech-Metal groove, with a wave like bounce that borders on DJent without quite reaching that far. “Drifter” then appears which adds a longer clean vocal element to the chorus than the previous tracks demonstrated to lift it. “Covington” uses the momentary pauses between riffs to build anticipation.
The haunting opening melody of “The Night Is Darkest Before Dawn” takes you down from the heavy ending to the previous track, but then lifts into a much heavier track with Patrick Pinon demonstrating his full vocal range with Deathcore gowls during the bridge and verse that are the complete opposite to the cleans of the chorus. “Nothing But The Rain” takes a Metalcore riff and makes it Tech-Metal while talking about the sacrifices on a personal level that the band have made to get where they are.
Making of “Infinite Unknown”
“The Truth pt. I (Nothing Is Real)” is an ambient track with a spoken word sample that in scientific terms discusses what makes the human being and is used to set the tone for “The Truth pt. II (Everything Is Permitted)”. The album closer takes all the elements that make the previous songs and lifts it up a notch. There is no filler track here, there is no quiet ending, Carcer City close out the album with a bang. Overall, the album has a complete sound to it, a flow from back to front with consistent quality of musicianship and lyricism. Lyrics are deep and thoughtful, giving something more with repeated listening. Every song contains all the elements that make Carcer City’s sound while providing a point of differential.
5/5 – A modern piece of tech-metal mastery, full of hooks, grooves and melodies that will have you hooked and head banging from the first listen.