Carcolh – The Life and Works of Death (Review)

Carcolh - The Life and Works of DeathCarcolh are a French doom metal band and this is their second album.

Carcolh’s approach to traditional doom metal is one that’s downbeat, heavy, and rich in feeling. The band hover somewhere between the old-school and the new, making the most of each of them to produce something that’s not entirely either, so should appeal to fans of both.

These songs are undeniably heavy, with thick waves of crushing distortion and gloomy riffs deployed left, right, and centre. Importantly though, the music is weighty in other ways, and it’s clear quite early on that Carcolh have a firm grasp on concepts such as atmospheric depth and emotive presence.

The band mainly operate in doom metal’s slower realms, using the meaty guitars to craft mood and atmosphere via carefully chosen riffs and selective nuanced delivery. Upbeat, higher-paced sections do appear, however. These are handled well and mostly retain the music’s despondent or forlorn feelings when they are unleashed. Despite this, the band’s true talents lie when they are unhurried and unrushed.

The well-written songs have many catchy and memorable moments in them, although the atmosphere-heavy emotive approach that the band do so well with prevents them from becoming anthemic. This is to the band’s credit, as there is more longevity and depth of songcraft available to Carcolh down the path they have chosen. The end result is a very enjoyable and engaging album that has enough obvious strengths to gain the listener’s attention, but can also encourage them to spend time with it over a longer period through the music’s deeper charms.

Very highly recommended for fans of bands such as Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus, Pallbearer, Livid, Khemmis, Empress, and the like.

Favourite Track: The Blind Goddess. I mean, just listen to it. DOOOOOM!

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