Sunday, July 12, 2020

Joe D. Carpenter - A Quartet Of Excellence


Joe D. Carpenter is a hard man to keep up with. Prolific while keeping a high level on his recordings is quite an accomplishment, especially when you consider he has released 10 very, very good EPs in the span of two years. In this piece, you, dear wave rider, will be treated to his latest 4 creations, '*7*', 'New World Sheep', 'The Great Illumination'  and 'Avdi Vide Tace'.

*7*
A creepy yet wonderful Twin Peaks interlude starts this EP which come in two halves. The first half is intense and instrumental and leans a lot towards speed metal with a crisp clear sound and excellent musicianship. Good ol' death metal appears as well. The second half brings the vocals while the music is slower, more punishing akin to Killing Joke. In fact Joe does a killer versions of their song 'Total Invasion'. A great mix of songs and tempos, this EP elegantly continues Mr. Carpenter's awesome discography.
'New World Sheep'
This is a fast and furious mix of thrash and speed metal. Totally in-your-face, angry and no holds barred. All songs are intense and neck-breaking for sure in all their beauty. The only difference is 'Feasting On The Dirt' which is slower and different. Contrary to its predecessor, 'New World Sheep' is all vocals and that works perfectly with the attitude of these songs. It adds to the anger and brutality of them in a way instrumental compositions couldn't. Great songsmithing, indeed!

'The Great Illumination'
Joe is steering back towards '*7*' and the Killing Joke influence. It's most apparent in the vocals but not completely. The pace is slower and lyrics and approach veer towards the wonderfully crazy Brits. And the addition of a couple of instrumental compositions - with some amazing guitar playing - heightens the quirkiness and weirdness of Jaz Coleman and Company. Absolutely love this EP and as usual, Joe goes from strength to strength.
'Avdi Vide Tace'
The title, which is taken from the Freemasons, roughly translates to "hear, see, be silent" but to me it also refers to society of today. We are allowed to observe what goes around us with our eyes and ears but stay silent, don't oppose. I might be wrong but that's how I perceive it. This EP starts with a sweet, short bluesy instrumental, but from then on is full frontal onslaught...for the most part! In between all the heaviness the ever present Killing Joke appears, hell Joe even adds industrial undertones in 'Nothing Awaits'. Another new touch is the cinematic feel in a couple of the instrumentals. Excellent as always, Joe!
10 EPs in and Joe still keeps it interesting and new while honing in on a stable, familiar sound. And that's how I like it. Mix familiarity with new colours and you'll have a bottomless well as your muse. And Mr. Carpenter sure have found that fountain and with his talents he definitely knows how to use it. Keep it coming, Joe, I can't wait to hear more!

-Swedebeast

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