Metal has more “cores” than a sack of rotten apples, and to their credit, Carnifex’s deathcore is slightly higher quality than most in the gamut of sub-genres.

Is it new and different? Let’s just say that there is little in the way of surprises on their new release, Die Without Hope, with its grimy vocals, gut-rattling bass drops, and triggered blasts. Sound familiar?

When Die Without Hope succeeds, it’s due to its technicality and depth, both of which explode on the opening “Salvation Is Dead.” From the nimbly executed leads to percussive chugs, the band digs deep into pitch black. “Dark Days” boasts classic horror orchestration led by cascading piano and stringed accompaniment, before dropping the bass hammer. “Last Words” is powered by a feral assault of percussion and distortion, and “Reflection of the Forgotten” boasts a clean intro – a testament to Carnifex’s talents – that leads into a sprinting, banging workout. Despite the album’s strengths, though, there is plenty of homogeneity here; they do what they do well, but unfortunately, they do it to death.

Does Die Without Hope break new ground in the deathcore genre? Not so much. That said, Carnifex are adept at churning out pit-worthy carnage that is nothing short of brutal.

Die Without Hope is out March 7 on Nuclear Blast Records.

Rating: 2.5/5 Stars