Carnage by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis [7/10]

Scant months after Nick Cave’s lockdown solo album Ghosteen, a masterpiece of emotive melancholy, he is back, this time accompanied only by inexhaustible Warren Ellis. “Carnage” is a jostling volume of eight grandiose poetic soundscapes that seems to channel everything from The Boys Next Door to piano soliloquy. Cave’s voice growls and keens, crackles and pleads. Ellis lays down tracks of resonant surety. “Hand of God” is a triumph, biblical Cave crooning and crying over a chant and Ellis’s insistent pulse and swelling electronic strings. “The trees are black and history / Has dragged us down to our knees / In a cold time” sends shivers down one’s back on the dark “Old Time.” The elegiac title track throbs to Cave’s voice caressing a chorus that is as emotionally affecting as any he has sung: “It’s only love / With a little bit of rain / And I hope to see you / Again.” Carnage is intelligent, beautiful music for this age of ours.

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