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A Somerset Parade – Carcosa

A Somerset Parade – Carcosa

A Somerset Parade - Carcosa

  • Rating: 8/10
  • Release Date: 16 February, 2024
  • Label: Wormholedeath
  • Musicians:
    Dan Cornish - Vocals
    Andrew Nolan - Guitar
    Brad James - Bass/Vocals
    Mitch Matheson - Guitar
    Kurt Winter – Drums
  • Favorite songs:
    Beyond the Ropes, Morningstar, Damocles
  • For Fans of:
    Bleed From Within, From Sorrow to Serenity, Of Virtue, Bullet for my Valentine

Australia has produced many great bands, and now a new name has emerged. Described previously in various sources as industrial and post hardcore, A Somerset Parade have evolved for their second album “Carcosa.” These guys from Brisbane now fall more comfortably into the category of Metalcore/Nu Metal. This fact and the cover artwork might imply that this album is dark and cacophonous, but that is not the case. There is a good amount of melodic material among the heavier stuff, and an intriguing concept behind the songs.

The thirteen tracks that make up “Carcosa” are inspired by a book of short horror stories. First published in 1895 ‘The King in Yellow’ by Robert W Chambers became a cult classic. The album’s title is taken from another short story entitled ‘An Inhabitant of Carcosa’ by Ambrose Bierce in 1886. In his story Carcosa is a fictional city which was then borrowed and used by Chambers in his book.

There are 10 stories in ‘The King in Yellow’ so it does not appear that the tracks directly pair up with those. The opening short instrumental ‘Black Stars in Black Skies’ sets the scene in gentle fashion. If I am not mistaken there is a choir deep down in the mix providing an ethereal background. This flows into ‘Invader Summer’ which is typical of their newly adopted style, harsh verses, and mellower, catchy choruses. They also seem to have retained elements of their former industrial influences which creates an interesting mix.

Work on this album began a few years ago and in 2021 a track was released well in advance of the full album. The track was ‘Alpha’ which saw the band introduce their darker, heavier direction. It is one of the more aggressive songs on the album.

For now, that is how the album progresses, ‘Sometimes Dead is Better’ is catchy, almost poppy in places, brutal in others. In ‘Beyond the Ropes’ the softer side reminds me somewhat of their fellow counterparts Voyager. One of the more recent singles released is ‘Mirror White’ which is slightly more commercial sounding albeit with some angry parts.

At this point, the style changes for a couple of tracks. An eerie spoken piece introduces ‘Morningstar,’ “Hail horrors, hail infernal world, and thou profoundest hell receive thy new possessor.” It sounds like a quote from one of the aforementioned books but is just written in that style. Fans of Edgar Allan Poe and H. P. Lovecraft will enjoy this, and fans of dark music will enjoy the track. Vocal wise the verses remind me of something by Fleshgod Apocalypse while the choruses are angrier with a driving riff behind them.

More spoken words in that style take up the whole of ‘Twin Suns Twin Moons.’ I particularly like the line “Oh hollow spectre, oh tattered king, oh vicious ghost, oh dreaded thing.” The track is short and subdued with a dark but subtle piano led accompaniment. I get shades of Slice the Cake from this one.

After that short glimpse into the supernatural abyss, things liven up again with ‘Godkiller.’ It is softer than the title might suggest with just the odd aggressive line. The opposite is true with ‘Midian’ in which the angrier parts are dominant. It also has some more spoken word at the end. Another change of pace makes ‘Pale Fire’ about the mellowest track on the album.

If you are wondering how the band chose their name, I can enlighten you. The Somerset in question is not the English County but a region north of Brisbane. Because there was already a band with the name of Somerset, they decided to expand it to A Somerset Parade. Back to the tracks, and the penultimate song is another one released as a single. Entitled ‘Blood Calls for Blood’ it is again equally beautiful and brutal.

The final song ‘Damocles’ is one of my favourites and has a bit of everything. It is catchy with powerful riffs and at the very end leaves you with some chilling words, “If a god of love and light ever did exist, he’s long since dead. Someone, something, rules in his place.”

It took me a few listens to appreciate the entirety of this album. It is creepy, angry, and melodic with a gothic concept. The band isn’t afraid to experiment and have the capacity to do that. Who knows what will be in store for them, but I for one can’t wait to see what that is.

Track list:

  1. Black Stars in Black Skies
  2. Invader Summer
  3. Alpha
  4. Sometimes Dead is Better
  5. Beyond the Ropes
  6. Mirror White
  7. Morningstar
  8. Twin Suns/Twin Moons
  9. Godkiller
  10. Midian
  11. Pale Fire
  12. Blood Calls for Blood
  13. Damocles

About the Author


I’m Bob, I hail from Robin Hood country (Nottinghamshire) in the UK. Rock and Metal music has played a big part in my life for many years. From playing guitar in local bands, to attending dozens of Festivals and countless concerts. I have been taking photos at gigs (whenever possible) for a number of years now, and as the camera gear has got better so have the photos. I continue to seek out new Bands and tend to prefer the more technical and heavy stuff these days. I live with my wife Sarah, who fortunately likes the heavy bands as well, and our cats who have to listen to it, whether they like it or not. Apart from gigs and photography (not just concerts) I also enjoy hill walking, films and discovering new beers (and drinking them).

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