Independent release, 2006

REVIEW BY: Chris Harlow


If not for Interstate 4 allowing Orlando, Florida to siphon off a couple of central Florida credits in spawning Tampa's heavy metal heroes Savatage and Iced Earth, the city would forever be linked musically to sugary pop bands such as the Backyard Boys and *NSync and vanilla rock groups like Creed and Seven Mary Three.

This overlying thought contributed to my anticipation of hearing the new self-produced and titled release from the Central Florida metal band Carnevil. Anchored by the backline of Anthony Lupo on drums and David Gibbons on bass guitar, the band benefits from the fact that instrumentally four-fifths of the unit has spent their high school years together playing as students at Oviedo High School. New to the band is Carnevil's vocalist, Chuck Boyer, who impresses on this self-titled release by nailing the vocals on the two covers the band performs -- Alice in Chains' "Man In The Box" and Slayer's "Seasons In The Abyss."my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

While it's easy to judge a band's ability to perform covers given the comparison targets, I find myself wanting to hear the band speed up both of the song's tempos because I think the band is a tight enough unit to pull it off. I also have a feeling that Boyer's melodic penchant in his vocal delivery would benefit from the challenge -- or in this case -- an infusion of aggression. These two songs would also benefit from added flair and personality.

Covers aside, though, the first Carnevil original, "Stare," utilizes a hypnotic Pantera-style loop that gives Boyer the creative platform to showcase an intriguing vocal tenacity, peaking with the line "just because you drive a big expensive car / and you got those fancy clothes" before convincingly and menacingly scowling that "it doesn't give you the fucking right / to walk by looking down your nose!" After repeated listens to this EP, I find this line and complementing instrumentation to be crowning moments in the emerging Carnevil listening experience.

While I mentioned Creed earlier and have never been a fan of that band, I can't help but draw a loose comparison to them during the intro to "What You Did", a Carnevil original which could easily frame the line "a court is in session" from "My Own Prison." Fortunately for all of us, Boyer's vocal range quells the thought at the first change in instrumental pace. Additionally, "New For Me" has guitarists Chris Behan and Nate Naymick mixing a power metal approach with their axe work to several dashes of Boyer's death metal growling. Mixing the two metal stylings is where Carnevil creatively shines the brightest.

All in all, Carnevil has the pieces in place to become the next five-headed metal monster out of Central Florida, with each of their original songs showcasing different styles and arrangements. This is important as their penchant for variety has me believing that this self-titled release will soon have folks outside of Florida recognizing that the metal scene in the state has new blood in its veins.

[For more information on the band, visit]

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2006 Chris Harlow and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Independent release, and is used for informational purposes only.