The first time I came across Karnivool was at Sonisphere Festival in 2010. It was a gloomy day when the Australian group came onstage at around 11:00am. From their first utterance to the crowd (“Knebworth we’re your fucking breakfast”) I knew I was in for a good set, and they surely delivered. For those unaware of Karnivool they seamlessly blend progressive passages with heavier riffs and melodic soundscapes. It’s been four years since their 2009 opus Sounds Awake and finally they have released a new track in the form of The Refusal.
For avid fans of the band they may have heard this track in a live environment, but now we can hear the studio version.
If one thing is apparent from the start is that this song is diverging back to the slightly heavier sound of their debut Themata, whilst later on in the song adding more layers and cleaner vocals, before building up once more, incorporating small differences.
The enigmatic vocals from the frontman Ian Kenny are at the forefront here as he gets to demonstrate his versatility from aggressive shouts to the distinctive range of cleans he is renowned for.
The rhythm section does a great job of keeping tight and controlled amongst the erratic nature this song gives off. Also the lone guitarist deserves credit for making the guitars sound huge whilst still being interesting.
The band deserve credit once more for developing a song in an interesting way which leads to a thoroughly enjoyable listen that grows upon further listens. Overall I enjoyed this track (although think it transcends better in a live context) and it has me eager to see what other progressive madness they have in store for us when the album is released.
The as of yet nameless third album is expected to drop sometime over the summer.