The Distance That Made Us Cold
I don’t know if the world needs more melodeath bands, but it’s probably the grilled cheese of metal: you don’t always crave it, but you really don’t get sick of it, either. Portugal’s Karnak Seti are on their third release, but The Distance That Made Us Cold will likely be an introduction for most. The band’s style is familiar enough, with a subtle twist that allows the weaker tracks to still be enjoyable. They blend older In Flames with Dark Tranquility and dashes of Morbid Angel/Gojira-style riffing.
Unlike a lot of melodeath, melodies aren’t always king, and when the riffs are excellent, that works to the band’s favor. It makes the melodies in songs like the title track and “A New Time To Heal” work much better. However, in other instances (and they become a bit clear throughout this over-long record), when the riffing is less impressive, the lack of anything memorable really becomes an issue. Karnak Seti suffer from the competent but lacking-in-excellence curse where little about their style is unique or especially noteworthy, which degrades the experience. It’s clear the band are all very talented, and, again, nothing is actually bad about the album; however, when little actually stands out, the results feel more underwhelming than they are.
Luckily, the album is “name your price” on Bandcamp, and while that has little bearing on an editorial stance, it’s important for context. I’m being hard on Karnak Seti because they have the talent to be just as good as Soilwork, but the album doesn’t quite measure up to their abilities. It’s a fantastic “name your price” find at Bandcamp, and should be snagged by all melodic death metal fans.