The flesh might be dead already, but the rise of Death Metal in Iran has just begun.
Let’s be honest and acknowledge that none of us know much about the Heavy Metal scene in Iran due to many well-known reasons, mostly related to the country’s religious and cultural barriers. In fact, if you check the list of Iranian metal bands on the Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives website, I’m sure you won’t recognize most of the names on the (extremely short) list. Fortunately, it seems that the tide is turning, Iranian metallers are now enjoying a higher level of liberty and, therefore, providing the world their share of heavy music, which is the case with old school Death Metal Nex Carnis.
After releasing their first demo in 2012 entitled Death of the Flesh, which by the way is the translation of the name of the band from Latin, and after some hurdles such as not being able to find a fitting drummer in the local scene, this talented Tehran-based group wants to show the world they’re ready to spread their evil wings and reach new heights with their debut ful-length album, the thunderous Obscure Visions of Dark. And if you’re a fan of that raw old school Death Metal perfect for having your brain melted after headbanging like crazy, you should definitely give these guys a shot.
The fuckin’ brutal opening track Darkened Rites of Existence, which is composed of two parts named “Part 1: Visions” and “Part 2: Labyrinth”, is very similar to what Brazilian Death Metal masters Krisiun do, just to give you an idea of how destructive the music by Nex Carnis is. Vocalist Asto Vidatu sounds like a wild beast with his growls, and it’s impressive how progressive the music is to an old school Death Metal band. In addition to that, what can I say about the infernal devastation caused by drummer Jirka “Jurgen” Zajíc during the last part of the song and the wicked guitar solo by guest musician Disguster? Anyway, with a macabre intro, Cryptic Depths of Unlight mixes the best elements from Death and Thrash Metal in a sick performance by all band members, with highlights to Incruent for leading all the breaks and variations with his morbid guitar riffs and solos.
Dissolution in Vortex of Sanity, which intro has that metallic guitar shredding we enjoy so much, offers the listener pure old school Death Metal where downright violence is its core factor. Not only that, Incruent and Jurgen provide all the necessary support for Asto Vidatu to keep roaring the song’s interesting lyrics, turning it into one of the top moments of the album. Following all that insanity we have Descent into Ethereal Realms, another song split in two parts (“Part 1: Entrance” and “Part 2: Transmigration”) where you can sense the influences of Morbid Angel, Slayer, Cannibal Corpse and other Thrash/Death Metal icons, but with an aerial atmosphere due to the content of its lyrics. And pay attention to the song after around four minutes, varying between a sonic blast perfect for a wild circle pit and a slower and more obscure rhythm that aims at being truly unearthly, consequently making the entire song even more entertaining.
Nex Carnis need only five seconds to begin pulverizing every living creature that crosses their path in Abolishing Rancid Thrones of Deceit, probably the most traditional of all tunes in terms of rhythm and heaviness. However, Incruent and Jurgen get a lot progressive and innovative in some instances, adding a lot of value to the final result, as well as the guitar solo by guest musician Rafael Barros. Besides, due to the maximum speed imposed by Jurgen on drums, the second half of the song flirts with Black Metal, yet another interesting variant present in their music. And lastly, these skilled Iranian death metallers don’t seem to get tired at all, firing huge doses of morbidity in Murky Pits of Time. This might sound stupid, but does anyone have some lozenges for Asto Vidatu? He will need those after snarling so deeply and intensely for almost seven minutes. Also, kudos to guest musician Jacek Hiro for providing the music some “tranquility” with his excellent guitar solo, just before the song reaches its apocalyptic ending.
In summary, Obscure Visions of Dark is a very solid Death Metal album that goes a little beyond the traditional boundaries of that specific type of metal, giving the listener not only another excellent option in the world of extreme music but also a unique opportunity to know more about the Heavy Metal scene in Iran. You can check the band’s official Facebook page for more updates on their releases and tour dates, and purchase their debut album at the Nightbreaker Productions webstore. The flesh might be dead as the name of the band states, but the rise of Death Metal in Iran seems to be in good hands if Nex Carnis keep delivering such high-end music throughout the years.
Best moments of the album: Darkened Rites of Existence and Dissolution in Vortex of Sanity.
Worst moments of the album: None.
Released in 2015 Nightbreaker Productions
1. Darkened Rites of Existence 5:21
2. Cryptic Depths of Unlight 5:56
3. Dissolution in Vortex of Sanity 4:39
4. Descent into Ethereal Realms 6:39
5. Abolishing Rancid Thrones of Deceit 4:21
6. Murky Pits of Time 6:55
Asto Vidatu – vocals
Incruent – guitars, bass
Jirka “Jurgen” Zajíc – drums
Jacek Hiro – guitar solo on “Murky Pits of Time”
Rafael Barros – guitar solo on “Abolishing Rancid Thrones of Deceit”
Disguster – guitar solo on “Darkened Rites of Existence”