ALBUM REVIEW: Carved – Ares

Despite having been around since 2007, Italian Symphonic Death Metal act CARVED only came onto my radar in 2022. They were the opening support on TEMPERANCE’s summer tour and their brilliant balance of Symphonic and Death metal caught my attention instantly. They announced that night they played songs off their album Ares which was due out that year.

The soft music and impactful narration at the start of Now And Ever (Resistance) brings the start of The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess to mind; in particular when Link’s mentor is parting wisdom before he is given an important duty. The sense of calm is broken with the abrupt heaviness of Cristian Guzzon’s guttural growls and rapid riffs. Laura Ginevra Tonarelli’s beautiful vocals give us a break from the heaviness. It also displays the band’s perfect balance of melodic and death metal that you can hear throughout the album.

Ares has been out since November and it’s the start of this year I have managed to listen to it and take a deep dive into this record. Each track has something special to offer and below are just some examples of what this record contains.

When speaking to Cristian about Justice Falls, he clarified this track was influenced by the unjust and tragic death of George Floyd. You can hear more detail about this by clicking here. This song is cleverly put together as the verses communicate the anger whilst in the chorus, you can clearly hear the despair and sadness.

If EPICA wrote the score for Battle Of Helms Deep in Lord Of The Rings, The Age Of Despair would be it. This would be down to the marching rhythms and the grandeur and majesty of the symphonic arrangements mixed with the aggression and determination that can be heard in the vocals. This track is heroic, daring and uplifting.

When Doom starts with pounding riffs, you start to think it’s what it says on the tin:  Doom Metal. It then smoothly transitions into the Symphonic Death Prowess that CARVED have created for themselves. In this track, they manage to keep some elements of doom in there that work in this track’s favour.

As the title suggests, Deal With Death starts off with a sombre instrumental that allows you to stop and reflect before being hit with impactful metal that we have experienced so far. Death is something we have either dealt with or will deal with at somepoint in our lives; this track communicates brilliantly the emotions one may feel when grieving the loss of someone. They are mixed up how they would be realistically making this track feel all the more relatable.

The Choice is a beautiful track that is mainly stripped bare of any distortion. This was a track I was hoping no abrupt changes to the tempo or sudden distortions came through as the track was brilliant as it was. There was distortion but it kept to the same tempo and it worked. Out of the tracks, this was the most straight forward melody wise.

It ends on a vigilant and grand note with Red Dwarf. Even down to the last track, CARVED keep us guessing and on our toes.

Ares is a remarkable that show us what CARVED have to offer up and carving them in a top list of bands to look out for. If you like Symphonic Death metal that keeps you on your toes, give this album a spin.

Rating: 9/10

Words: Lotty Whittingham

Ares is out now.

Find CARVED on Facebook.

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