‘Cursed Mortality’ Casts CARNATION in a Deeper, Darker Light

Cursed Mortality‘ isn’t a revival. It’s a bold step into the future for one of the most brutally innovative bands in all of death metal.

Carnation‘s new album comes out tomorrow, November 3. But you can get a sneak peak at ‘Cursed Mortality’ thanks to Outburn, who are premiering the full album stream a day early.


Carnation have been bringing back old-school death metal for the past two decades. On ‘Cursed Mortality’, the Belgian band are still deadly serious about inflicting maximum corporeal punishment. “Maruta” is named after an especially brutal army unit, while “Cycle of Suffering” pumps thunderous double bass kicks over a solo that grabs you by the throat.

“The manic mayhem that puts a big smile on the faces of death metal fans is front and centre…” according to Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life.   

But ‘Cursed Mortality’ also shows off Carnation’s range – literally. “Replicant” flexes clean vocals. Even “Metropolis”, which barrels ahead like a train with its brakes cut, comes with a personal touch; the band are all too familiar with the relentless pace of modern life after vocalist Simon Dudson had the life sucked out of him by last job.

“It’s so refreshing when a band tweaks their formula and its pays off in spades”, The Metal Pit writes in an early review of ‘Cursed Mortality’.

The album’s title track now stands as Carnation’s magnum opus, a nearly eight-minute long reflection on growing old that’s shadowed by melodic leads, gloomy synths and tortured growls. 

“This is definitely my favorite record from Carnation”, says A&P Reacts. “It feels like a more natural and focused album”.    


“Finally, after two years of hard work and unwavering commitment, the release date for our third album ‘Cursed Mortality’ has arrived”, says Carnation. “We’ve been anticipating this moment for many months, and we can’t emphasize enough how excited we are to release this album. We hope we were able to strike a balance between our strong death metal foundation and the new progressive elements that we’ve added as a result of our evolution as artists. This record has been a labor of love for us, and we are genuinely curious about its reception. Most importantly, we would like to thank all the fans, press contacts, promoters, Season of Mist, District 19, and everyone else that we had the pleasure of working with to create this album. Cheers!”

1.Herald of Demise (04:03) feat. Andy LaRocque of King Diamond)
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]

Check out the album artwork, which was created by the late, great Mariusz Lewandowski.

Carnation Cover230609

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.

Get tickets:

Current tour dates:
November 3, 2023 – Heist-op-den-Berg, Belgium @ Cultuurcentrum Zwaneberg
November 9, 2023 – Eindhoven, Netherlands @ Effenaar
November 11, 2023 – Kortrijk, Belgium @ Hells Balls Belgium
November 24, 2023 – Mühltal, Germany @ Steinbruch Theater
December 16, 2023 – Izegem, Belgium @ Death Row
July 13, 2024 – Laberweintling, Germany @ Pure Fucking Metal Festevil
July 27, 2024 – Steenwijk, Netherlands @ Stonehenge
August 18, 2024 – Eindhoven, Netherlands @ Dynamo Metal Fest
August 31, 2024 – Roosendaal, Netherlands @ Roosendaal Open Air


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

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

Recording studio: Project Zero Studio

Producer / Mixing engineer: Yarne Heylen

Mastering studio and engineer: Joel Wanasek

Biography: Katy Irizarry

Artwork: Mariusz Lewandowski

Logo: Christophe Szpajdel


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CARNATION Announces European 2024 Tour


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


CARNATION release new pummelling track ‘Metropolis’


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