Viza: Carnivalia

SOAD-infused eccentrics explore their box of tricks

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Taking the baton from SOAD are LA-based barons of bizarre, Viza. The similarities are obvious, but their additional nods to Gogol Bordello, Orphaned Land and even Pixies make Carnivalia a stylistically rich and jolly collection of renditions.

Imagine mingling the buoyant sonic bounce of Korpiklaani with a low-key version of Mike Patton’s signature discord and that’s what’s delivered in this album – part metal, part folk, part psycho circus. Things Are Awkward is a jazzy number that subsides into a riff-packed outro full of Frank Black-esque screams while Shall We Reign Dance? taps into that macabre Faith No More vibe.

Yes, there are the odd social-political mentions but it’s not the theme of the record. Overall the ethos is very much about eccentricity and quirky entertainment rather than political engagement, with theatrics and playfulness peppering each song. Singer K’noup does a good Serj Tankian impression but reveals enough on-record personality and vocal diversity to carve his own niche.

Holly Wright

With over 10 years’ experience writing for Metal Hammer and Prog, Holly has reviewed and interviewed a wealth of progressively-inclined noise mongers from around the world. A fearless voyager to the far sides of metal Holly loves nothing more than to check out London’s gig scene, from power to folk and a lot in between. When she’s not rocking out Holly enjoys being a mum to her daughter Violet and working as a high-flying marketer in the Big Smoke.