Record Reviews

Album review: Carchosa “Carchosa”

Swedish one-man metal band Carchosa debuts with a splendid riff-heavy album.

Carchosa is a one-man thrash/death metal band from southern Sweden. The multi-tasking Henrik Nygren has put together a splendid seven-track debut album which he has not only written all music and lyrics for, he also handles the vocals, the guitars and the programming on the album which he has recorded and mixed himself.

It’s aggressive and it’s angry, but there are some breathers in the mix where the sun shines through with some melodic guitar solos in an Arch Enemy kind of way. The progressive influences give this music some fabulous nuances. The end result is riffing great. I really dig it. It’s clearly a labour of love made by someone who loves his metal. Nygren manages to take some obvious influences from death metal, thrash metal and progressive metal and melt them all down to his own music. It’s only seven songs but they add up to almost an hour of great music. I never mind longer songs, as long as their long for a reason and the longer tracks work all the way. On this album they do.

The opening track, “Unfathomable”, is like a mini concept album or rock opera in itself. Twists and turns, tempo and style changes. It’s like a musical horror movie. The rest of the album continues in the same style. “Rise of the Valkyries” is splendid in its hard-hitting metal awesomeness. Opeth meets early Metallica? There’s not a weak moment on this album. “Ghost Insidious” is an obvious favourite with its uncompromising attack on the listener, but with a melodic guitar that refuses to go away and keeps coming back into the some kind of Darth Vader versus Luke Skywalker kind of battle. This album partly reminds me of US-based Japanese artist Masaki Murashita, who released a very impressive EP a few years ago.

Sweden remains a world power in heavy metal. Carchosa is proof that there is so much interesting stuff happening at the grassroots level and not just with the big famous titans of the 80s and 90s that are still touring the world. Henrik Nygren is a talented metal artist. Let’s hope that Nygren puts a live band together and takes this music on tour. It deserves to be performed live.