Carved Up spit an eclectic sounding album with Matador. The caustics riffs and jazzed rhythms tear eardrums in a measured capacity. Often building on a theme, dangling harmonies and erratic pulses in front of a audience, Carved Up sweat riffs.
This is difficult to categorize beyond, heavy and awesome. While some tech-metal and hardcore bandy, noise rock may be the answer. Let’s just get the “sounds like” bit done with quickly. Carved Up expel sinister notes with influences from bands like Botch, Cave-In, These Arms Are Snakes, and Will Haven mixed with cues from classic AmRep bands to noise metal bands like Red Sparrowes, Intronaut, and Kylesa. The vibe is dark and foreboding. The attack is sharp, sustaining a sound more raw than the precision of Pelican. Carved Up execute a record of grand scale with smaller weapons. The feeling of a claustrophobic recording pulsates.
Matador was recorded and mixed by Vince Ratti at Skylight Studio, and mastered by Bill Henderson at Azimuth Mastering. Additional recording by Will Yip, Brad Wallace, Sam Pinola, and John Fachet. A song like “Mystic Riffer” is spaced out and plays more with waves of tension and thinner structures. While earlier tracks, like “Helena, Save Me” and “The Arrangement”, get gnarly and thick. Playful names like “We Built Riff City”, “Mystic Riffer” and “Riffer Phoenix” display Carved Up’s priority. The bass is a treasure and the drums exhibit a talented bastard. The sludge-drenched time changes of “The Riffer Wild” and “Crevice/Crevasse” (harboring rare vocals) play with pounding rhythms and stark emotions. The closer is a dusty, sweeping jaunt with Cello, Violin, and other noise by Greg Bortnichak and Erin Murphy of Teach Me Equals.
Carved Up, coming from Southeast PA, have toured extensively. They play an array of bills and gigs. Tallying peers and influences compound their arsenal. The album exudes a synergy and confidence of a trio that knows their territory. The ethereal and the visceral aspects combine to drip treachery through coarse riffs and cold beats. Pick up Matador on vinyl on Crowquill Records. (Hutch)