CARNATION Bring Back Old-School Brutality on “Cycle of Suffering”


‘Cursed Mortality’ casts Carnation in a deeper and darker light. The first four singles off the Belgian band’s new album experiment with gloomy synths, melodic leads, clean vocals and lyrics inspired by sci-fi classics and a real life horror story from WWII. Their new single “Cycle of Suffering” is a brutal reminder of why Carnation are at the forefront of the old-school death metal revival.

“A mere month separates us from the highly anticipated launch of ‘Cursed Mortality’,” says the band. “It is with great excitement that we present to you the premiere of the album’s last single ‘Cycle of Suffering'”.

Watch the thrillingly brutal performance video for “Cycle of Suffering”.

Video Credits:
Director: Panda Productions
Lights: Ronny Snels
Make-up: Jenske Szkudlarski

‘Cursed Mortality’ comes out November 3.


Simon Duson can make his voice sound big and beautiful. Just watch him belt and belch out one of the album’s earlier singles in one take. But there’s no clean singing on “Cycle of Suffering”. Instead, Duson busts out his most cavernous, ghastly death growl. The rest of the band also take inflicting maximum punishment deathly seriously, pumping the song full of thunderous double bass kicks and a squealing guitar solo that seizes the spotlight.

“‘Cycle of Suffering’ is a relentless track that expertly treads the line between commanding lead sections and thunderous rhythmic riffage,” says Carnation. “It’s an absolute blast to perform, which is why we gave it an energetic music video that focuses on our live performance. Undoubtedly, this track will end up in the set list of many of our future live shows”.  


1.Herald of Demise (04:03) feat. Andy LaRocque)
2.Maruta (04:07) [WATCH HERE]
3.Metropolis (03:24) [WATCH HERE]
4.Replicant (03:49) [WATCH HERE]
5.Dutroux (03:48)
6.Submerged in Deafening Silence (04:26)
7.Cycle of Suffering (04:05) [WATCH HERE]
8.Cursed Mortality (07:30) [WATCH HERE]

Style: Death Metal
FFOEntombed (early), Bloodbath, Gatecreeper, Skeletal Remains, Grave

Faithful fans will undoubtedly find what they have come to love and expect of Carnation  on ‘Cursed Mortality’. However, they can also expect the unexpected, as the band venture further into previously unknown territories.

The artwork for ‘Cursed Mortality’ was masterfully crafted by the late Mariusz Lewandowski (†), who is renowned for his remarkable talent in creating majestic. dark. surrealist. masterpieces. Lewandowski’s haunting visuals perfectly capture the essence of the album.

Carnation also collaborated with the revered Lord of the Logos, Christophe Szpajdel, who created a brand new logo that perfectly encapsulates the essence of ‘Cursed Mortality’. Known for his iconic designs and ability to bring forth the spirit of the music through typography, Szpajdel’s contribution further solidifies the album’s visual identity.

The second decade of Carnation begins now. Prepare for an intense journey concerning the exploration of fleeting mortality.

Current tour dates:
03-11-2023 – Cultuurcentrum Zwaneberg – Heist-op-den-Berg Belgium
09-11-2023 – Effenaar Eindhoven – The Netherlands
11-11-2023 – Hells Balls Belgium – Kortrijk Belgium
24-11-2023 – Steinbruch Theater Mühltal – Germany
16-12-2023 – Death Row – Izegem Belgium
13-07-2024 – Pure Fucking Metal Festevil – Laberweinting Germany
27-07-2024 – Stonehenge Steenwijk – The Netherlands
18-08-2024 – Dynamo Metal Fest Eindhoven – The Netherlands
31-08-2024 – Roosendaal Open Air Roosendaal – The Netherlands

Photo by Gaëlle Spaas

For the last decade, CARNATION has been at the forefront of reviving old school death metal. There’s something to be said about the artfulness of taking something so primitive and walking that fine line between keeping its classic authenticity without sounding tired or dated. CARNATION has always teetered this line, injecting a fresh and contemporary approach without losing the genre’s time-honored traditions. However, the band’s third endeavor sees CARNATION erasing those boundaries entirely and abandoning any and all conventions as they traverse into daring new territory. ‘Cursed Mortality’ pulls the Belgian death dealers deeper into experimental new waters, taking risks as the band steps out of the shadows of its predecessors and comes into its own identity. ‘Cursed Mortality’s’ statement is clear: This is no longer simply a revival; this is CARNATION’s rebirth.

“We still play death metal and we still identify as such” explains frontman Simon Duson. “But we know that this is also our second decade performing it. And while it is very important for us to stay true to the old-school style, we know we had to open things up a bit and reach out to those who might be interested in extreme metal, but aren’t that much into the old aspect of it. It also feels fresher to us because we’ve decided to change our visual approach, with a new logo, a new look on stage and so on. In a way, it really feels like the beginning of a new chapter for CARNATION.”

Album number three is much more than just a new chapter, but rather feels like a sequel to an already storied career, punctuated by press accolades, an impressive history of live performances, and a lauded discography consisting of several EPs, splits, and two critically acclaimed full-length albums.

With the debut of its first EP in 2015, CARNATION quickly garnered the attention of fans, media, and most notably of all, record label Season of Mist, who quickly noticed the band’s potential and picked them up without hesitation. Upon forming this union, the band dropped its first full-length, ‘Chapel of Abhorrance,’ in 2018. Angry Metal Guy astutely noted that the Belgians’ debut album was “one of the best death metal debuts of the year, and CARNATION have earned their place as one of the most promising new bands in the genre” while Distorted Sound Magazine echoed these remarks, calling ‘Chapel of Abborhance’ “one of most brutalizing, well executed and, above all, fun, death metal releases of 2018” in its 9/10 review of the album.

CARNATION’s momentum only seemed to pick up from there. The band kept busy on the road, performing a variety of tours with their death metal brethren in Deserted Fear, Schirenc Plays, Pungent Stench, and Pestilence, while headlining stages in Japan and Brazil. Upon conquering the live circuit and laying waste to audiences across three different continents, the band unleashed its 2020 opus, ‘Where Death Lies,’ which broke them out from the underground with the kind of seismic force that most bands can only dream of. If the critics liked ‘Chapel of Abhorrance,’ ‘Where Death Lies’ was the moment they fell in love, enamored by Carnation’s relentless brutality and crushing precision.

While touring had been halted that year, CARNATION never stagnated nor waivered. The band’s tenacity paid off with their sophomore effort being named among one of the best records of the year by The Pit, Chicago Music Guide, Pandemonium Metal, and many more, while the single “Iron Discipline” was singled out by Loudwire as one of the best songs of 2020. Legacy outlet Kerrang! also took notice, ranking the band among the “50 Greatest Death Metal Bands Right Now,” cracking the top 20 picks.

While the Belgian slayers still stay true to their roots, they step outside of their comfort zone with more groove, melody, and progression, showcasing their versatility as musicians and clearly defining their own unique sound. ‘Cursed Mortality’ sounds darker, with passages of melancholic melodies that compliment the heaviness.

Most bands might feel anxious about making such dramatic changes, especially to incorporate clean vocals within such extreme music, CARNATION embraces the unknown and does not fall victim to fear or monotony. “As artists, it’s something natural,” explains Verstrepen about why the band has shifted direction. “Doing the same thing over and over again doesn’t inspire us. We love to create and we love to explore new paths. We knew some people wouldn’t like clean vocals in death metal, but we don’t want to think of that too much. We stand 100% behind our music and we really like what we did here. Some people will drop out, but there will definitely be others joining! As Lemmy would say, ‘You win some, you lose some.’”

Indeed, a personal metamorphosis is always a risk, but one that historically has paid off. The first records of bands like Black Sabbath, Carcass, Death, or even Bathory sound nothing like the mid-late era offerings of those very same artists, and yet, those records that strayed off the beaten path are regarded as some of the most seminal albums in the history of metal. Playing it safe sounds easy, but it isn’t always a part of a legend’s origin story. And CARNATION isn’t here to play by the rules; the band is ready to take a leap of faith and redefine an era.

Simon Duson: Vocals
Jonathan Verstrepen: Lead Guitar
Bert Vervoort: Rhythm Guitar
Yarne Heylen: Bass Guitar
Vincent Verstrepen: Drums

Recording studio: Project Zero Studio

Producer / Mixing engineer: Yarne Heylen

Mastering studio and engineer: Joel Wanasek


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