Karnak Seti – In Harmonic Entropy (Self-Released)Sunday, 24th March 2013
Bands looking for an easy entry into respectability should go the melodic death metal route. Next to sloppy old-school death and thrash metal, melodic death metal is akin to “Starter’s Kit Metal.” Once you learn the basic riff and harmonic structures (read: just copy everything At the Gates and In Flames did in the mid-90’s), you can make an entire album out of it. We’re not saying Portugal’s Karnak Seti are playing beginner’s level metal, but their sophomore effort In Harmonic Entropy is rife with a lot of the same newbie ideas that well, “new” bands toss out when getting started.
Utilizing the over-used melodic death metal riff template, Karnak Seti force the pace early and often with traditional d-beat pounding on “Long Gone Shadow” and “Only Red Mist Descends.” A wealth of the ideas presented here prompt one to draw a parallel to now-defunct melodic deathsters Callenish Circle, who employed a similar approach to melodic death metal by way of essentially streamlining their sound at its rudimentary base. The only difference is that CC’s songs were a bit more conniving than what Karnak Seti is tossing out here.
To their credit, KS takes a quick detour from its staple sound on “Stranded By Existence” and “Figureless Icons,” two songs that employ some nimble atmospheric elements much in the same way Dark Tranquillity would wiggle out of its routine hyper-harmony jaunts. These two songs alone show that if prompted, Karnak Seti could be more than just an average Joe melodic death metal band.
If this were 1997, then Karnak Seti would be hot to trot, yet in this landscape, simply being basic and well-executed doesn’t totally cut it for a new melodic death metal band. Chances are, Karnak Seti will figure things out much in the same way Omnium Gatherum, Kalmah, and Nightrage did – to get off the lower rung of melodic death metal, you have to draw outside of the lines for once.
(This content originally appeared on Blistering.com)