Sound — 7
Equal parts death metal and metalcore, Hell Chose Me is fast, furious, unrelenting, brain-smashing and intense for all 10 songs that comprise the record. Guttural, Cookie Monster growls? Check. Blast beats? Plenty. Ultra-fast riffery? Oh yeah, got those. If you like death metal with a few strategically placed, mosh-worthy breakdowns, then Carnifex will supply you with what you are looking for on the title track, Dead Archetype and Names Mean Nothing, which are the album's most blood-chilling tracks. It's standard death metal with mosh parts and doesn't diverge too much from the formula, but it also doesn't attempt take the melodic fork in the road, either. If you like Cannibal Corpse, Despised Icon and Morbid Angle as much as you like Six Feet Unde and Hatebreed, then you'll totally be impressed by Carnifex, because Hell Chose Me has elements of each of those bands in its sonic stew. There's even a little bit of black metal styling to the guitars on Entombed Monarch, so if you like Cradle of Filth, Carnifex may appeal to you on some small level. Again, I'm not saying sounds like; it's more like in the same family, no matter how distant the relation.
Lyrics — 6
You can actually discern some of vokillist Scott Lewis' words here and there, even though they are delivered in several extreme styles: growls, grunts, barks, pig squeals. When he slows down for a second to toss off a line, you can sometimes understand the lyrics. He doesn't attempt any clean vocals at all; just a total assault on his larynx. Lewis probably didn't talk for a month after laying down his vocal tracks for this album, because he's vicious throughout. He doesn't deviate too much from the standard delivery, but what keeps Hell Chose Me fresh is how Lewis switches back and forth between three different styles, which are the Cookie Monster growl, shrieks and squeals.
Overall Impression — 7
Carnifex have a real affinity for death metal and it shows on Hell Chose Me. The playing is efficient and fast enough to make your puny little brain feel like a racket ball being whacked back and forth and between two paddles. But it's also not reinventing the steel, either, to borrow a phrase from Pantera! It's decent, likable deathcore, with a bit more emphasis on the death than on the core. There's groove. There's breakdowns. There's speed. All of these are the hallmarks of a quality metal record, which Carnifex have delivered. Elitists may not be super fond of Carnifex but younger kids will enjoy the exposure.