Review: “Carnage Funeral” by Bonecarver

Formed from the ashes of Cannibal Grandpa, Death Metal extremists Bonecarver have been at the forefront of the scene in there native Madrid Spain since 2014. Known for putting their own sting in the tales of stories about infamous serial killers and combining that with their own take on Brutal Death Metal that crossed the great divide into both Slam and Deathcore territories, they gained the attention of the equally extreme Unique Leader Records and inked a deal in blood with the label in the summer of 2020. Their first album together, the simply titled “Evil” brought about critical acclaim and so their return with a sophomore album, in “Carnage Funeral” falls into the highly anticipated category…

The talents of vocalist Fernando Del Villar, drummer RubĂ©n Contreras and guitarist duo Alberto Bravo and Alex Tena (who also mixes and masters) are undoubted but they are aided and abetted in achieving their vision by Ruben K who provides the stunning cinematic orchestral arrangements which mean the band stand part from the pack. He makes his presence felt from the album opening cut and title track, giving it an introduction of epic majesty before the vocals burn your ear drums with caustic venom from the throat of a demon. A Groove Metal mid section brings a different style and swagger before the crushing finale of staccato riff break infestations decimate the weak and thin the herd. After such a powerful opening statement, the foundations need reinforcement to stop the ground crumbling from beneath our feet and Bonecarver bring out “Ancient Atrocity” to do so. Another powerhouse, a violent combination of Death Metal blast beats, razor sharp riffs and throat splitting vocals, its a firebrand that others would kill to have written. As if that wasn’t enough, the Death Groove of “The Reckoning” continues to bury the hatchet in skulls with a surprising amount of range. It draws together dark elements that may not usually be paired and seamlessly interweaves them into the fabric of the song meaning that the band are able to conjure slick death defying style transitions within very small moments and do so majestically. Contreras then gives masters like Dave Lombardo and Kevin Talley a run for their money with “Thorned” as he rampages through some impressive fills and bursts of blasting to help create a dark and oppressive atmosphere. A perfectly executed false ending is jaw dropping as the band threaten to take the crown from genre leaders like Chelsea Grin and Lorna Shore in the first half of the record alone…

The short(er) and fast(er) cut in the middle of the record is “Pillars Of Tragedy“, confirming as if it was needed, that there is no soft centre in this turbulent, violent storm by continuing the dark apocalyptic soundscape with another moment of fire and brimstone from a wrathful demon. What Bonecarver have done well is ensure that the orchestrations don’t drown the guitars and instead augment and enhance their sound by giving it the cinematic edge of a big budget psychological horror film. Fernando Del Villar is in his element on “Morgue Desecrator“, his full vocal range showcased in one single easy to swallow murderous monster of a track that takes all the elements of the jigsaw puzzle and creates a clenched fist of a summary piece strong enough to be the album title track. The gargantuan “Horror Disorder” hides an elongated “bleigh!” moment while packing a seriously menacing and downright sinister punch, some of the orchestrations reminding of “Decimate the Weak” era Winds Of Plague before the skull shattering finale gets stuck in your head for days. If you were thinking closer “Bereavement” might be a melodic, melancholic woe is me piece of padding then you’re sorely mistaken as the band instead rampage through the kind of riffs that would turn the stomach of long time Suffocation fans, driving the nails into the coffin of anyone who said they couldn’t surpass the power of their last album “Evil” at the same time [8/10]

Track Listing

1. Carnage Funeral
2. Ancient Atrocity
3. The Reckoning
4. Thorned
5. Pillars Of Tragedy
6. Morgue Desecrator
7. The Red Wake
8. Horror Disorder
9. Bereavement

Carnage Funeral” by Bonecarver is out 11th November 2022 via Unique Leader Records

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