Originally hailing from New Jersey, the band Handsome Karnivore has been cultivating their dynamic brand of rock music since 2012. Currently, the band has one move to Los Angeles, three full-length releases, and countless lineup changes under their belt – but despite all adversity and obstacles, still Handsome Karnivore lives on.
This year, the group released their third studio album. Entities From The Fog is a ten-track deep dive into the band’s current artistic direction, highlighting their immersive, hard-hitting sound and the cohesivity they’ve found in their newest configuration.
HERE’S WHAT WE DUG MOST…
The album opens with intrigue on Invocation of the Entities, featuring a textured, acoustic soundscape and dark, gravelly vocal. Tense and verging on industrial at times, the opener teases the rest of the album – never settling on a melody or even a structure, simply building the suspense and anticipation as we wonder where this complex collection of layered sounds might be taking us.
The Kiss From Venus is a release from all of that tension and a headfirst drop into the band’s heavy signature sound on this project. The production skill is immediately notable on this track – each instrument is highlighted in turn, bolstered by the backing synths and driving percussion. The vocals enter with the same gritty intensity of the first track, perhaps even more so as things open up and head towards the chorus, where we find a hook that is surprisingly accessible despite the horror-driven undercurrent. Both the vocal and instrumental melodies are sharp and balanced, and the vocal harmonies add a welcome layer of musical richness.
In The Name Of Love is a captivating combination of reverberating, organic piano and absolutely cutting electric guitars and percussion, spaced in such a way that each is perfectly audible in turn. But the chorus offers us a respite from the heaviness, with all focus on the vocals and spacey synth instrumentation layered around them – before throwing us right back into the uproarious verse. The back-and-forth nature of the production is mesmerizing and makes this track a stand out on the album.
We also love Fight For Yourself for its uplifting message delivered in firey anthemic style by powerhouse vocals, as well as Locked Out Pt. 1 for a return to that gritty, post-apocalyptic-meets-acoustic foundation that we got a taste of in the introductory track.
OUR FAVORITE TRACK…
We find glimpses of this group’s softer side nowhere more clearly than on Snow in Monrovia. With an almost ’50s rock cadence, the rich harmonies and light arrangement keep the spotlight firmly on the vocals, which are more subdued but as effective as ever in this track. This departure from the heavier sounds found elsewhere on this album speaks to the band’s artistic range. Handsome Karnivore is by no means a one-trick-pony – they can clearly turn things up and turn them back down whenever they want to.
For those who appreciate true modern rock influenced by both artistry and digestibility, the music of Handsom Karnivore will no doubt resonate. This experienced group continues to thrive despite the many challenges they’ve faced throughout their career, but their work on Entities From The Fog makes the case that they have only grown stronger with time. Stream this impressive and unique album for yourself below.
BELOW: Listen to Entities From The Fog and connect with their website and social media platforms. Please support Handsome Karnivore by visiting them online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing their music, or attending a live show! And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!