The nowadays Death Metal scene is getting gradually more bland and actually starts to feel a little jaded. The trends of today tend to flatten out the entire scene, with one part dealing with caverncore, another with their super technical wizardry, the rest seeming mostly to repeat themselves. Of course, there are exceptions, but the current scene seems to be becoming increasingly less challenging. One of those exceptions I recently ran into is this Tampa, Florida, USA based Death Metal band. With their previously released short players, a selection of demos and EP’s, already showed a band with a lot of potential.
And, with ‘Soulless I Remain’, the band mostly cashed in on their potential. It is a collection of songs that heavily lean on the Swedish brand of HM2-ridden Death Metal with meaty and choppy riffs, rather basic drum patterns and a decent vocal delivery. The infrequent melodies are well-written and are enhancing the dynamics of the otherwise really authentic ambience of the album. Whilst blending those buzz-sawing riffs with the great barking vocals and those occasional leads they are creeping up to bands like Dismember, Grave and Fleshcrawl. Not at all original, anything that is mind-bending and Carnal Ruin is not a band that is pushing the envelope, but if you are fond of that Swedish groove, that beefed up HM2-sound and a fitting, authentic atmosphere, Carnal Ruin definitely is worth your time. ‘Soulless I Remain’ offers a piece of relief among all the mid-tempo snoozers of today, a true genuine, riff-based slobberknocker of a Death Metal album.