Legendary blackened thrash metal band, Carpathian Forest are back with their first release since 2006. That release is the single, Likeim, which was released via Indie Recordings on April 13th.
Likeim was released digitally and as a 7 inch EP. As well as being a stand alone single, the track is also the first single released from their new album called Likskue – Dødens Arkitekur. As I said above, the last time Carpathian Forest released new music was back in 2006 with the album Fuck You All! Officially, Carpathian Forest went on hiatus in 2014 but were pretty close to it back after 2006. The only thing that kept them still as active was a handful of festival dates over the years between like Inferno Festival in 2009 and Blastfest in 2014.
Now they are back. The line up has obviously changed a lot. Most band members left permanently in 2014 and started or joined other bands like In the Woods, Green Carnation or The 3rd Attempt. The only original member left in the band is Nattefrost (Roger Rasmussen). Nattefrost is the vocalist but has been the guitarist, bassist and keyboard player over the years in Carpathian Forest. All joining in 2017, the rest of the band are Slakt on the bass, Audun on drums and both Malphas and Erik Gamle on guitars.
One of the things I always worry about when a band have been away from the fold for so long is whether there is a place for them still now. Are they still relevant? Do they still have something to offer? Thankfully, with Likeim, Carpathian Forest quickly put those doubts to bed.
There are two tracks on the single, Likeim and a cover of Turbonegro’s All My Friends Are Dead. Likeim is a short song at 2 minutes 45 seconds of music. It is also a fast and frenzied, thrashy affair with blackened vocals and growls over the top. Think Municipal Waste with Dani Filth on vocals. The guitar riff is simple but quick and packed full of a punk like attitude. The drums are fast and loose and the bass line is thick and glues it altogether neatly. Vocally, we are talking deathly growls and blackened metal style singing.
At first you might think it sounds like the two will clash but they don’t. Instead you get energetic, bouncing groove music with a crunching riff and fast paced black metal vocals all working perfectly together to create a fascinating listen where you don’t quite know whether to stand in the corner looking broody or jump around like a lunatic. From the screeching guitar intro through to the frenetic solo nearing the end, Likeim is relentless and damn good fun to listen to.
The cover of All My Friends Are Dead is also really, really good. It suits their style perfectly. A cover is more often than not just a little gimmick to fatten out a record but here they make it their own and add some Carpathian darkness. Very enjoyable stuff.
Based on this single there is plenty of room for Carpathian Forest in modern times. Likskue is shaping up to be a slightly bonkers but solid album off of this evidence. I am looking forward to hearing more.
You can pick up a physical copy of Likeim from Bandcamp here. It is also available on all the usual streaming services now. Finally, you can grab this and more from Carpathian Forest at the Amazon links below. Be sure to check them out at their Bandcamp page and on Facebook and give them a like or follow while you are there.
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Likeim by Carpathian Forest (Indie Recordings)
The Final Score - 8/10