Review: “Absent” by Carcosa

Rising like a phoenix from the ashes of Galactic Pegasus comes Carcosa, a Deathcore quartet from Vancouver in British Columbia Canada that feature three former members of the outfit. Most fans will recognize Andrew Baena (Guitars, Vocals, Programming) from his YouTube project and Johnny Ciardullo (Vocals, Programming) as the guitarist in Angelmaker and this new band isn’t something we expected from them when their previous band called it a night and “Absent” marks their debut, Mixed by Ty Kingston. What is Carcosa? Well it could be a fictional City referred to in the story “An Inhabitant of Carcosa” by Ambrose Bierce back in 1891 but is most likely a reference to the HBO series True Detective, starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson where Carcosa is a place that the Yellow King is worshiped with both black magic and violence…

…Johnny Ciardullo is a powerhouse vocalist and after the somber and almost mournful introduction to “Present: Precursor“, Baena delivers the skull crushing eight string guitar chugs backed by a moody atmospheric and Black Metal inspired blast beats, while Ciardullo roars through the vocals. It comes together like a piece from Angelmaker or Enterprise Earth before the colossal bounce of “Vanta Black” kicks in and changes the angle of attack. Juddering, DJent heavy Deathcore riffs tear through the parade while a tornado while Ciardullo rants and raves using pitching techniques to give the impression of a pair of vocalist. The haunting samples and underpinning programming add to the appeal and continue into “Our Scars” which maintains the high energy pace. Rap screams and some brief clean vocal drop outs give a sense of schizophrenia during the rapid fire riffs before a closing downtempo breakdown that is anvil heavy leaves its mark. “A Plague” brings more groove to the table with a solid percussive back bone to support the weight of the riffs and caustic vocals that see Ciardullo reach new lows. While the Chelsea Grin and Emmure influence is here, the use of cinematic choral moments gives that Christopher Nolan Dark Knight vibe of grit to everything and that is an elevator in the Deathcore game. “Absent: Post” marks the EP’s longest cut and title track, laden with staccato DJent infused moments and a dark, brooding atmosphere until a mid track progressive Tech-Metal break out gives that chink of light through the black clouds. It accompanies a layered chorus, uncleans and cleans in equal measure creating a harmonic moment of reflection before a rising tide of drums is broken by an acoustic guitar. What Carcosa have done as an experienced group of musicians is laid down the gauntlet for other bands in this genre to step up and challenge [8/10]

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Track listing

  1. Present: Precursor
  2. Vanta Black
  3. Our Scars
  4. A Plague
  5. Absent: Post

Absent” by Carcosa is out now and available here.

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