Album Review – Viscera / Carcinogenesis (2023)

UK’s own Technical Death Metal/Deathcore monster returns with their striking sophomore album, an essential listening for fans of modern Deathcore.

Formed in 2019 in the UK and featuring former members of Heart of a Coward, Abhorrent Decimation, Martyr Defiled, Nervecell and Surfaces, the electrifying Technical Death Metal/Deathcore monster Viscera returned to the battlefield this year with their sophomore opus, titled Carcinogenesis, the follow-up to their 2020 breakthrough debut Obsidian. Produced by Viscera and Justin Hill, and mixed and mastered by Simon Pietroforte, the album is an essential listening for fans of modern Deathcore, Pantera, Killswitch Engage and Fit For an Autopsy, showcasing all the rage and dexterity by frontman Jamie Graham, guitarists Charlie Michael and Adam Bell, and bassist David Archer and drummer Alex Micklewright (both having left the band recently for personal reasons). “Lyrically/thematically, this album continues on from Obsidian with Delilah’s soul reaping cover. This time the energy she has gathered feeds her tyrannical partner, who in turn uses the newly absorbed life force to corrupt all around him. Metaphorically it’s a statement of how humanity tends to feed of others only then to tear itself apart,” commented Jamie about the band’s infuriated new opus.

The album kicks off with the gripping, melodic and imposing title-track Carcinogenesis, blending the best elements from Technical Death Metal and Symphonic Deathcore while Alex is bestial behind his drums and Jamie roars manically for our vulgar delectation; followed by Rats with Wings and its insurgent lyrics barked by Jamie (“A legion shall arise / A second sun has risen / Encase the earth in a fiery prison / The weeping world shall reap / The fruits of her dark secrets bequeathed / Calling out from the dark / Bring forth the ancient arc / Behind her blackest eyes / Unquenching thirst for blood”), while his bandmates generate a fulminating wall of Deathcore sounds. Then the band takes their animosity and heaviness to a whole new level in the headbanging extravaganza Layers of Skin, with Charlie and Adam spreading fire and hatred through their riffs supported by the crushing drums by Alex, and there’s no time to breathe as Viscera keep hammering our damned souls in Resolver, showcasing another violent vocal performance by Jamie and the always melodic but fierce riffs by the band’s guitar duo.

One more round of their demented Deathcore comes in the form of Omnipotence, presenting deep, inhumane roars by Jamie while his bandmates keep exhaling aggressiveness from their sonic weapons, whereas Sungazer is one of the most exciting songs of the album, with the soaring vocal lines by Jamie matching perfectly with the song’s epic atmosphere while Charlie and Adam continue to hypnotize us with their riffs and solos. In Lex Talionis we face more of their wicked lyrics (“I was trying to rebuild something / You promised that you’d listen to me / But if that were true it meant that you were human / That’s something that remains to be seen”) while the music is Deathcore played to perfection; followed by Demon Queen, absolutely technical, intricate and groovy, and the only song of the album where the vocals by Jamie are almost one hundred percent clean, overflowing darkness and heaviness until the very last second. And lastly, we have On Earth as it is in Hell, the most introspective and sinister of all songs, closing the album on a high note spearheaded by the pounding beats by Alex while its otherworldly vibe will darken your thoughts for all eternity.

Viscera more than nailed it with Carcinogenesis, which is by the way available for a full listen on YouTube and on Spotify, positioning it as one of the top heavy music albums of 2023 hand down. Hence, don’t forget to pay those guys a visit on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and more of their infernal music, and of course to purchase your copy of Carcinogenesis from the Unique Leader Records’ BandCamp page or webstore as a CD or as a special edition 12″ vinyl, as well as from also as a a special edition 12″ vinyl (or simply click HERE to buy or stream the album form your favorite retailer). The word “carcinogenesis” might mean the initiation of cancer formation, when normal cells are transformed into cancer cells, but in the case of Viscera it represents the initiation of an exciting new phase in their career, setting the bar high for their future releases and, therefore, offering us all another amazing reason for raising our horns high in the name of heavy music.

Best moments of the album: Carcinogenesis, Layers of Skin, Sungazer and Lex Talionis.

Worst moments of the album: Absolutely none.

Released in 2023 Unique Leader Records

Track listing
1. Carcinogenesis 5:49
2. Rats with Wings 3:31
3. Layers of Skin 4:03
4. Resolver 3:41
5. Omnipotence 3:40
6. Sungazer 4:33
7. Lex Talionis 4:30
8. Demon Queen 4:44
9. On Earth as it is in Hell 5:11

Band members
Jamie Graham – vocals
Charlie Michael – guitars
Adam Bell – guitars, synths
David Archer – bass, synths
Alex Micklewright – drums


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