Carved – Kyrie Eleison (Revalve Records)
I did a bit of research before reviewing this album, the 2nd from Italian Metallers Carved, mainly as I’m not sure if they’re a Christian band. And as someone who hates religion, that’s an important factor for me.
The album title is Kyrie Eleison, which is the title of a Gregorian Chant, and also has connections with the Greek Orthodox Church. Add to that the stained glass window cover, and a few questionable song titles, and the jury is still out. What makes me think I could be wrong are references to King Arthur (Camlann) and their video clip for “Lilith” seems to go against my suspicions.
Moving away from any potential controversy, sound wise, this is an amazing album to listen to. Taking a core of Melodic Death, Carved elevate that using both Symphonic and Orchestral elements and the end result is stunning… and dare I say, uplifting? To call it Progressive Symphonic Death would probably be a fair call… as would an affinity with musicals… it has that Rock opera feel to it, especially with the varying vocal styles of Cristian Guzzon.
They’re not afraid to crank it up either. The Burning Joke starts off sounding like Dimmu Borgir at their most pompous, before it veers off into a frantic Death Metal assault. Unfortunately the trade-off is the sickly cheese of the ballad, Heart of Gaia, which would light up the sky with a thousand lighters at a Power Metal gig.
This will (mainly) appeal to those with a broad range of tastes as Carved do flit from genre to genre, although most of it does tie in together. Most of all though, it’ll give those they love a symphonic edge to their Metal something to drool over…as well as those they prefer their Metal crafted, rather than blasted out.