One would expect a band that has been around as long as Carbid! to be really seasoned. Germany’s Carbid! was formed all the way back in 2000, but broke its rather long silence this year with their debut full length release Breaking Walls. The album includes 5 bonus tracks that are all covers including songs from AC/DC and Dio, and as usual, that was what attracted me to this release.
Unfortunately, for the most part, Breaking Walls turned out to be quite a disappointing release. The album starts off rather decently, with riffs on Creatures of the Light that are reminiscent of old school heavy metal bands such as Maiden and Priest, complete with that rather raw production quality of the album. Vocalist Kui is also pretty decent at first, and there are even moments where there is a slight Kai Hansen resemblance, giving the band’s music a nice German character.
However as the album progressed things started to get somewhat stale. The mid-pace that the band often goes at means that potentially good tracks are unable to bring out the energy that is contained within, and the listener easily starts to drift off and songs begin to sound rather flat. Furthermore, there are also moments when the songwriting can get pretty awkward. Moments where the band attempt to experiment also tend to end up causing songs to lose their impact. For example, the “echo” effects that the band tend to utilise for the vocals of Kui can get pretty irritating, especially on songs like Never Regret, making the band sounding overly cheesy and amateurish. It also becomes pretty obvious soon that Kui’s vocals are the weakest link on the album, with him struggling to hit the higher notes at times.
The saving grace seemed to come from track 9 onwards, as the band begins their cover songs first with Beastie Boys‘ Fight For Your Right. For some reason, all the awkwardness that plagued the band’s originals disappeared, and this turned out to be a rather pleasant listen, along with most of the cover songs. The cover of AC/DC‘s Sin City is also surprisingly good, and is perhaps my favourite track off the album. Unfortunately, the band butchered Stand Up and Shout, mostly with Kui’s vocals and the awkward guitar solo on the track.
With the quality of the originals that are on the album, it is pretty hard to discern the years that the band has been playing together for. However, the bonus cover tracks on the album help to make this album a more bearable one.