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Karnivool reckon you won’t be able to refuse this!


Setting fire to expectations (and televisions) since 1997.

Karnivool, the Australian progressive band who transcended the constraints of the genre with their sublime and incredible 2011 album Sound Awake – which integrated a very clean and beautiful sound to their music, almost reminiscent of what TesseracT have managed to accomplish recently with their sophomore release, Altered State (our review of which can be found here).

Karnivool announced last week that their new album, currently untitled, is complete and that they would be releasing a new song for free download called “The Refusal“. This song has seen a lot of live play, so if you’ve seen the band in concert recently this song won’t be entirely new to you, but it’s an interesting change of direction for the band.

Many people were curious as to what Karnivool would come up with next due to the nature of their previous album. One could understand feelings that they may have cornered themselves and inadvertently committed to a slightly restrictive sound. Sound Awake was incredible, but it doesn’t require a repeat performance. It stands on its own.

The progateers seem to have taken this on board as “The Refusal” is a very surprising and different direction for the band. In fact, if you played this song without knowing who the band was previously, you may be hard pressed to identify them. The song is worlds apart from the clean sound of their previous album, instead embodying an ugly, hulking sludge sound, akin to treading through tar pits.

However, all is not lost as Karnivool are still very fixated on their incredibly versatile vocalist, Andrew Goddard, who croons his way through a decidedly softer and more delicate chorus. This is where Karnivool show off some of the verve that makes them who they are, as well as make the hardened guitar tone seem less like a radical revitalization for the band and more like reliving the past glories of Themata.

What’s most peculiar about this shift in sound is that on first listen, the song is rather unremarkable, though on repeat the grooves eventually settle in. It’s hardly a great song to market their new album, as it just leaves fans perplexed as to what to expect. Not to mention, the production, which seems unusually weak and rough sounds like it is still a little unmixed, which for a band like Karnivool is a very unusual thing to hear indeed. It may be a deliberate imperfection to truly compartmentalize their discography, but it may also lead to alienating some of their fans.

You can download the song from their website here.

Karnivool’s new album will be released later this summer.

Is this the Karnivool you know and love? Are you excited for the new album? Is this an improvement over Sound Awake?

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