Review: “Silent War” EP by Carcer City

Liverpool’s Carcer City announced “Silent War” with a new song “Tides” on a three show tour in Germany in May 2018 and promised the EP “This Year” at Fat Lip Fest in Bristol last summer. Fast Forward 8 months or so and the band announced that they would be calling it a day following the EP release and a final tour run with Last Hounds. Subsequently a final show has been announced at UK Tech-Fest this summer.

We first came across Carcer City in 2017 when they opened for Attila at The Engine Rooms in Southampton and they blew The Word Alive off the stage with a blistering live show of cuts from their stunningly good 3rd studio album “Infinite Unknown”. Released in 2016 via Stay Sick Recordings, it was a release the band sat on for a year waiting for the right label opportunity to come along to give it the push it needed. We had the fortune of seeing Carcer City 4 times in 2017 as they played a UK tour with Grand Rapids Michigan Metalcore heroes Still Remains and the main stage of UK Tech-Fest. So it’s a challenge not to review this final EP without rose tinted sunglasses on as the band have not only delivered a trio of fine albums but have also been a phenomenal live force and will be missed.

We received a physical copy of the CD, hand numbered and limited to 500. In a cardboard gatefold sleeve with cover art from frontman Patrick Pinion, which is simply beautiful, as is the message which thanks everyone who has been involved with the band and has supported them while giving them the best memories. It also says “Maybe we’ll meet again, maybe bee won’t” so a reunion at a later date hasn’t been ruled out…

…Ben Gains from Heroic Audio is listed as providing a mixing and mastering job while the rest is credited to Pinion alone. Our first impression was that the EP sounds raw, with some edges that haven’t been sanded, perhaps on purpose. It’s also synth heavy with a far more varied vocal approach than “Infinite Unknown”…

“Tides” starts with some buried electronics before a DJent inspired riff and powerful opening verse. Those electronics are replaced by a synth loop and some chugging stuccato riffage while Pinion sings about letting go and offers some of the most heart felt lyrics we’ve heard. It has a decent groove and moves between the heavier and the melodic sides of the band nicely. “The Weight of the Crown” has a glorious piano and guitar intro however there is a sense that some of this guitar work we’ve heard before on “Infinite Unknown”, which is also a feeling from the opening track. The piano work continues throughout and the polyrhythmic DJent is overlayed by some interesting leads. It’s electronic heavy in places with quirky sounds that come out of the mix upon each repeated listen.

Effectively the title track “Void” contains the “Silent War (inside my head)” lyric from which the title is taken. It opens with an achingly beautiful synth part and is then wrapped in it throughout. There are some odd orchestral parts in the mix to build atmosphere and it is a far more progressive tune than we’ve heard from the band. There is a melloncholic sadness to all of the songs on the EP as if it was known this was going to be the last time out, though lyrically it comes across as being the end of a long term relationship, soaked in all the anxieties and hate that comes from that. “Replicant” was the music video that appeared a few days before the EP did. It’s a song that grew on us from not liking it at all on the first play. It continues the vibe of the previous three tunes as the EP moves from the heavier opening to the more melodic closer. The guitars are in no way as prominent in the mix as on any of the bands previous material as they instead opt for a more electronically overlayed approach. It’s an interesting move for a seemingly final release from a fantastic band. As we said at the start, it sounds unfinished and raw, like it needs a better mix or recording studio to finish it. [6/10]

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