It’s easy to assume that Indianapolis is the focal point of all the great metal music coming out of Indiana, but it’s always good to see bands from some of the smaller towns creep in and surprise us. Richmond, Indiana’s Carrion Vael is a perfect example, having recently released their debut album Resurrection of the Doomed in March to great reception. Consisting of vocalist Travis Lawson, guitarists Anthony Loudy and Trenton Limbur, Bassist Alex Arford and Charles Angel on drums, the group expertly blends melodic death metal with thrash, deathcore and touches of progressive metal.
Most of the tracks start at breakneck speed with the exception of “Putrifix,” “The Bear and the Lady Fair,” and “Hellspawn” which have quiet yet menacing intros which add nicely to the overall atmosphere of the album. Some of the more memorable ones include “Nasty Betrayer” and “Cease to Exist” because of their catchy choruses. All of the songs offer everything you’d expect in the melodeath genre - screaming vocals, blast beats, harmonized guitars, and soaring solos, but there are also some progressive melodies in “Resurrection of the Doomed” and “Puttrifix” that stand out.
Though one wouldn’t necessarily call this album groundbreaking, the amount of talent it takes to pull off playing music in this genre is commendable. All of the instrumental performances on Resurrection of the Doomed are superb and executed with extreme precision. The guitar solos are precise with sweeping peaks and valleys and Charles Angel’s drumming is phenomenal.They are also helped by vocalist Travis Lawson, who switches between blood curdling screams and guttural lows while bringing some engaging melody to help the songs stand out even more. Recorded at Threshold by Brian “Bone” Thornburg, the album just sounds great. The production makes all the instruments sound distinct including the bass and allows each instrument to shine.
Fans of At the Gates, early In Flames, Job For a Cowboy, and Nocturnal era Black Dahlia Murder will find a lot for them here. This album is fun melodic death metal at its finest and metal fans will be hard-pressed to find a debut as well-formed as this. If they continue down this path, the band is certain to reach even greater heights with their follow-up efforts.