On December 18, Redefining Darkness Records will release Sentenced By the Cross, the new album by Germany’s Supreme Carnage, and today, on the eve of its release, we bring you a full stream of the entire album.
This is music for fans who want lots of juicy red meat in their death metal. It’s not overly complex or wildly inventive. The approach to song-writing is straight forward, with traditional verse-chorus structures. And though they’re from Germany, the band have clearly aligned themselves with old-school legends from the Swedish school such as Asphyx, Grave, Entombed, and Bloodbath — with an embracing of Bolt Thrower as well.
But although Supreme Carnage aren’t out to reinvent the wheel, they are very, very good at what they’ve chosen to do, and Sentenced By the Cross is tremendously satisfying from beginning to end — the songs are heavy as hell, compulsively headbangable, and ridiculously infectious.
As you listen to the songs, it becomes clear very soon what these guys are up to. They’ve got a potent arsenal of musical weapons, they know how to use them, and they deploy their weaponry in dynamic ways, creating variety in the songs while charging all of them with savage energy. And the production quality — for which credit must be given to Jörg Uken at Soundlodge Studio (God Dethroned, Sinister, Suicidal Angels) — gives the songs heavyweight power without sacrificing clarity.
That arsenal of weapons includes an array of mighty riffs — from evil, bone-grinding tremolo-picking, to skull-clobbering chugs, to rapid-fire jabs that simulate the experience of being run over by a rushing freight train. The arsenal also includes a knack for crafting hook-filled melodies — dark and dismal but highly memorable ones. You wouldn’t call Supreme Carnage a “melodic death metal” band, but the subtle melodic components of the songs are a big reason why they get their hooks in you, and so are the guitar solos — some high and flickering, some low and sinuously serpentine.
The album is also blessed by top-shelf drum and cymbal work. It’s razor-sharp, the rhythmic variations seem tailor-made for what’s happening in the rest of the instrumentation, and along with the heavy bass tone, it gives the songs a massive and sturdy backbone.
To complete the picture, the vocals never fall into the pit of monotony. The tyrannical howls, bestial gurgles, and hair-raising shrieks never let you forget that this is died-in-the-wool gruesome death metal you’re listening to — and the vocalist does this while managing to enunciate the lyrics in a way that lets you hear the words.
I have some personal favorites among the songs on Sentence By the Cross (the title track, “Cup of Wrath”, and “Burn For Me”), but what gets this album a strong recommendation is that it’s very solid all the way through — you more than get your money’s worth. So if you’re in the market for a heavyweight barrage of dynamic death metal that will get your head banging hard (while the music tries to split it in two) and that will appeal to your melodic sensibilities at the same time, Sentenced By the Cross should fix you right up.
To order the album, visit the Bandcamp link below. The band’s lyric video for the album’s title track premiered at DECIBEL magazine not long ago, and I’m including that below our album stream. Enjoy!