Extinction. To many, the word itself imposes thoughts of large lizards that roamed the Earth many years ago and have been long-gone from this planet. Today, because of the way we as humans treat this planet, we still experience extinction through certain species of animals as well as plants. Expanding on this concept, Carnival of Flesh’s latest release (November 2021), titled “Anthems of Extinction,” implements the concept of human as well as earthly decay and extinction and it is very evident and chilling. Hailing from Serbia and being established 2002, Carnival of Flesh have brought forth a very solid barrage of symphonic black metal in the vein of Carach Angren, Vesania and Old Man’s Child (a personal favorite of mine!). After a brief period of remaining as a studio project from 2014-2017, Carnival of Flesh resumed live performances in 2018 with a European tour in support of their album, “Stories From a Fallen World.”
Continuing with the concepts of environmental and societal decay, “Anthems of Exctinction” is now here to fulfill all your symphonic black metal needs, with class and a very dark aggression. The first track of the album is a very dark, mid-tempo track that actually appears to be quite conservative for Carnival of Flesh. However, in this track the listener may pick up on notes of despair and an anguish or disgust, as I did. Although this track isn’t the most intricate or active track on the album, it is very seething in its nature and makes for an awesome introduction track in order to help paint a certain atmosphere for the record.
As the album continues, the listener starts to get a taste of some of Carnival of Flesh’s capabilities. In track two titled, “The One”, the song opens up with a very intense blast beats section complimenting a fairly complexed array of symphonics. This type of musicianship really made me think of symphonic black metal kings, Emperor, as the part had the feeling of chaos and urgency while being well composed and organized.
While I will not go track by track, I do want to touch on the third track on the album titled, “Tropical Plunder”. This award-winning track is another mid-tempo track, but to me, more in the vein of a 1914 track. This song is a bit reserved and conservative but if the listener enjoys a great atmosphere, this track will certainly serve them well. The video accompanying this song (see below) is also exceptionally well directed.
My favorite track from this album is also probably the fastest track, “Rapacity”. It’s not particularly the speed I enjoy, but rather the way the speed blends into the majestic at atmosphere behind it at times. This track truly provides moments of despair, darkness and anguish, emotions we love to experience from a thought provoking level. There is also a really neat musical break in this song with light choir sounds in the background, birds chirping, howling, other animals, a distant yet haunting violin; I found this interlude to be very original, very cool and even thought provoking.
After several listening sessions with “Anthems of Extinction,” I can conclude that I was definitely pleasantly surprised by the production, musicianship, lyrical content and composition that Carnival of Flesh exhibits. If you are a fan of top-notch, quality symphonic black metal then there is no debate from me, you need to have a listen to this album, it’s a good add to the playlist!
Release Date: November 1 2021
2. The One
3. Tropical Plunder
4. Can of Sorrow
5. Mask of Humanity
7. The Great Escape
9. Requiem for a World