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Carpathian - "Isolation " (CD)

Carpathian - "Isolation " CD cover image

"Isolation " track listing:

1. Isolation (1:43)
2. Cursed (3:03)
3. Spirals (2:00)
4. Insomnia (2:33)
5. The Cold Front (2:58)
6. Deadbeats From Deadhearts (1:45)
7. Sun Heights (2:53)
8. Seventyk (3:09)
9. Ceremony (3:02)
10. Permanent (2:50)

Reviewed by on December 1, 2008

"If this is the future of Australian hardcore, the future is very bright indeed."

Carpathian has come a long way since the release of their self-titled EP way back in 2005. The constant touring and line up changes would have destroyed a lesser band, but not Carpathian. "Nothing to Lose" (2006) was a brilliant album, but it was just another mosh-core album in an already overcrowded scene. When news spread of a new EP being released in 2007 everyone thought they knew what to expect, but the "Wrecked" EP blew everyone away and set the stage for what was to be "Isolation."

Within the first 30 seconds of listening to "Isolation" it becomes obvious that this is a new band. From the moment frontman Martin Kirby shouts out "overflowing with hatred, I cannot contain me, I erupt, I feel violent, volatile, on the verge of destruction," the first line of the first track "Isolation" it becomes obvious that this is a man at war with the world around him. From here on the fury doesn't stop. The next song, "Cursed," is easily one of the strongest songs on an already solid album. In this song Kirby unleashes his hate on all around him and himself. But he states that he will not be another blank face. The next song, "Spirals," gets straight into it. Not having a boring intro to songs is something that Carpathian is quite good at. After all, hardcore is about the lyrics and messages in the songs, not the guitar.

"Insomnia" is next, and this song is just as fast as intense as the last few songs, but the lyrics are far more personal. The fury is still there, however, and this song is sure to go down as a live favourite with the gang shout part midway through the song. The following track, "The Cold Front," follows right where "Insomnia" ended, but this song is not as fast as the rest of the album. But not being fast does not take away anything from the song. Quite the opposite in fact, the statement "we open our hearts to greed" has so much more of an impact now that our greed has sent the world on the road to economic recession.

The following song, "Deadbeats from Deadhearts," is a short and sweet song about Kirby refusing to break edge. Not much more needs to be said about this song besides it being just as good as the rest of the album. "Sun Heights" is a brilliant song. It makes you think about how you live and will you follow or will you fight for what you believe in. Sometimes it can be hard to choose, and he states this with the quote "all alone against the world and I have never felt so fucking cold."

The next song, "SeventyK," is a nice fast song, but about half way through it there is a nice little mellow bit, which is the perfect chance to get ready for the best of the album, which are the last two songs.

Everyone who listened to Carpathian before "Isolation" will know "Ceremony" from the "Wrecked" EP. With the build up to the release of "Isolation," many wondered if "Ceremony" would be re-done because of how good it was. This version blows away the older version. It is faster and far rawer. The song even features Patrick Flynn of Have Heart on vocals. The very last song, "Permanent," leaves the listener wanting more. It is the perfect end to a perfect album.

If this is the future of Australian hardcore, the future is very bright indeed. If Carpathian is playing a town near you, by all means check them out.

Highs: The breakdowns are gone, Carpathian have evolved and grown up.

Lows: Hardcore albums should never be any longer than 30 minutes, but once the 25 minutes that make the album up are finished you want more!

Bottom line: This is how hardcore should be; fast and full of heart.

Rated 5 out of 5 skulls
5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)