Carnifex – Necromanteum (Album Review)

Carnifex – Necromanteum
Released: October 6th, 2023

Line Up:

Scott Lewis // Vocals
Cory Arford // Guitars
Neal Tiemann // Guitars
Fred Calderon // Bass
Shawn Cameron // Drums/Keyboards



2023 has certainly been a calendar year for deathcore; Chelsea Grin, To The Grave, Signs of the Swarm, Crown Magnetar and Suicide Silence have all synced up and dropped excellent new releases upon the extreme music faithful. Hopefully fans of blastbeats and breakdowns have room for another course, with San Diegans’ – and classic deathcore five-piece – Carnifex preparing a new collection of blackened brutality. One of the most prolific artists in the deathcore scene – only The Acacia Strain have dropped more studio albums –  Carnifex have returned after 2021’s solid-yet-unremarkable Graveside Confessions with LP number 9, Necromanteum. 

It’s hard to get a more classic deathcore opener than ‘Torn In Two‘. Having been previewed live on the road some months before Necromanteum’s unveiling, the tune has all the iconic Carnifex hallmarks; beefy riffs, rampaging drums, minor-key blackened elements and Scott Ian’s throat-tearing screams and roars. As one of the group’s who were at the absolute forefront of the melding of elements of black metal into deathcore, Carnifex are clearly doubling down on all the elements that have gotten them to where they are today. 

Death’s Forgotten Children‘ – featuring Chelsea Grin’s Tom Barber – is another OG deathcore tune, housing one of the LP’s filthiest breakdowns, while the following title track is a instantly-catchy blackened assault with a great melodic guitar line holding the song together. Returning to a five piece after recording their previous effort as a quartet, the recruitment of former DevilDriver guitarist Neil Tiemann is a major-plus – with the debutant bringing both melodic and technical flair to the lead guitar passages. On the production front, working with both Jason Suecof and Mark Lewis again makes for a powerful, crisp sounding record – the symphonic elements in particular are better than ever; ‘How The Knife Gets Twisted’s chorus sounds epic with the huge orchestral backing. 

Necromanteum’s balance of brutality and blackened aspects is excellent, with the release becoming more grim and evil as it progresses. ‘Crowned In Everblack‘ has a fantastic bridge, delving deep into dynamics oft-explored by Carnifex, while the crushing duo of ‘The Pathless Forest‘ and ‘Infinite Night Terror‘ are equally rich in strong songwriting and skin peeling extremity. The album’s finale ‘Heaven And Hell All At Once‘ is an excellent sendoff – Tiemann gets a great solo spot amongst the chest beating riffs, pounding drum work and soaring strings.

An improvement on 2021’s Graveside Confessions, Necromanteum ranks amongst the most satisfying releases in Carnifex’s back catalogue. A band who’s albums feel generally too top heavy, with the finest material loaded at the front, this ninth full length is arguably Carnifex’s most consistent record to date, and will undoubtedly be a major success amongst their fanbase. Necromanteum is an excellent, inspired sounding effort, and as Carnifex nears two decades in the game, serves as a testament to a group who are hungry to run with their peers and school the multitude of acts they’ve influenced.

Carnifex Necromanteum tracklisting

  1. Torn In Two
  2. Death’s Forgotten Children
  3. Necromanteum
  4. Crowned In Everblack
  5. The Pathless Forest
  6. How The Knife Gets Twisted
  7. Architect of Misanthropy
  8. Infinite Night Terror
  9. Bleed More
  10. Heaven And Hell All At Once

Rating: 9/10
Necromanteum is out October 6th on Nuclear Blast Records. Order here
Review By – Andrew Kapper. Twitter: @andrew_kapper