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Steel Attack
Carpe DiEnd

Company: Locomotive Records
Release: 2008
Genre: Doom
Reviewer: Vinaya

  • Palatable art out of incessant negativity



  • Hardy har har, clever title. But savor that bit of dodgy humor in the title, as it's pretty much the only sign of positive emotion you'll get from this album.

    Two years after their last album, Diabolic Symphony, these Swedish merchants of moroseness are back, with a new lineup and somewhat streamlined, simplified version of the dark, imposing and grandiose vibe of that album. Carpe DiEnd is a particularly anguished collection of tunes, hermetically sealed in a cloak of darkness that allows pretty much no inlet for hope or optimism. Every song seems to serve but one purpose, that purpose being to darken your world and drown your spirits via Ronny Hemlin's consistently pained vocal delivery and lyrics, coupled with simple, dark riffs and melodies. Bass and drums reinforce this vibe of ever-escalating tension, doing little of note but crashing and pounding incessantly in a musical morass that manages to come across as muddy, chaotic and ugly despite a fairly clean recording.

    And while the majority of the album revels in an emotionally punishing mix of rote chugging rhythms and the aforementioned vocal anguish, the trio of tracks beginning with "For Whom I Bleed?" somehow strikes me as a particularly harrowing listening experience. "Crawl" does much the same, but takes things just a little too far by comparison. And yet, while there is much that is unpleasant about this album-not to mention a few utterly forgettable tracks (like "Holy is Evil")--there is something I find strangely captivating about this album. Hard to say what that is, but while I tend to avoid playing this album due to its overwhelming doom and gloom, doing so does yield a few painful pleasures. And while I did not particularly warm to Diabolic Symphony despite its slightly proggier, more adventurous style (something I normally welcome), somehow, this album made a better impression on me, even if my tastes would typically dictate otherwise. I guess you could say that Carpe DiEnd finds Steel Attack accomplishing what so many gothic acts seem to try for, making almost palatable art out of incessant negativity and thematic bleakness. If this sounds like an enjoyable listening experience to you, then by all means partake. Me, I'm just too creeped out by this album to do anything with it but lay down and avoid most of the time.



    About this Writer:
    Vinaya Saksena // Vinaya is either a writer who dabbles in guitar playing, or a guitar player who dabbles in writing. A Maximum Metal staffer since 2004, he has also served as a reporter for several newspapers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Although his obsession with music is such that it does not allow time for much else by way of hobbies, he also enjoys traveling, trivia, photography, British comedy and the occasional A-Team re-run.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: STEEL ATTACK
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Carpe DiEndSteel Attack
    2008
    Vinaya Saksena7/17/2009
    Diabolic SymphonySteel Attack
    2006
    Eric Compton7/25/2006
    EnslavedSteel Attack
    2004
    Eric Compton11/12/2004
    Predator Of The EmpireSteel Attack
    2003
    Eric Compton5/2/2003


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: STEEL ATTACK

    No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: STEEL ATTACK
    INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE
    John AllanSteel AttackEric Compton5/2/2003
    Ronny HemlinSteel AttackEric Compton7/25/2006


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