Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Carnivore and Retaliation (A Review)

If Type O Negative can best be described as four Brooklyn Vampires performing stand-up on occasion then Carnivore can best be described as three guys who like to play fast metal and piss people off. The only member the two bands had in common was Peter Steele and that means that fans of Type O might not be into Carnivore because the musical direction was a bit different. Carnivore is more straight-up thrash with a  punk attitude than anything else. Type O Negative's Slow, Deep and Hard was largely made from Carnivore material and I suppose that album can best be used as a guide as to whether or not Carnivore is your bag of chips. If Type O songs like Der Untermensch or Xero Tolerance don't piss you off then I guess this music might be for you.

So again, let me stress that Carnivore music is not for everyone.

Carnivore (1985) - Think vulgar and incendiary lyrics about the apocalypse, fast tempos, and a complete absence of melody. The first song Predator is a great example of what I'm talking about. You probably don't want to listen to it while eating if you are squeamish. Lyrics like eyes plucked from sockets, gaping holes through which picking brains, phlebophilia love of blood, life spills from the veins, I detect the scent of prey by her menstruation, you have been chosen the main course, congratulations! might not exactly be pleasing to the ole gag reflex, right? Male Supremacy is a song with a Judas Priest-style riff and lyrics that would probably be arrested by the P.C. police. The first half of the song deals with how the narrator is detailing all of the women he's raped and the men he's scalped while at war while the second half of the song has the narrator coming home from war, being comforted his woman, and making sweet love to her. It's the perfect song for Valentine's Day. Okay, maybe not. The ten-minute epic dealing with World Wars III & IV, World Wars III & IV is the centerpiece of this album. Probably stating the obvious on that one, aren't I?

This album could easily be the soundtrack to Stephen King's The Stand or Robert R. McCammon's Swan Song or the actual apocalypse at the end of 2012. So buy it before then and enjoy while you can.

2001 reissue cover
Predator (4:33)
Carnivore (3:22)
Male Supremacy (7:31)
Armageddon (4:14)
Legion of Doom (3:31)
God Is Dead (4:13)
Thermonuclear Warrior (5:38)
World Wars III and IV (10:13)
USA for USA (demo) [reissue only] (3:32) 
S.M.D. (demo) [reissue only] (2:17) 
Sex and Violence (demo) [reissue only] (5:19)

Line-up: Peter Steel, Keith Alexander, Louie Beato

Retaliation (1987) - Less of a straight-forward thrash album and more of a bridge to Slow, Deep and Hard, Retaliation still manages to push the pissed off button in all the right (or wrong) places. The first track is a joke track... sort of. It's more gross than funny, but the track is the sound of someone (possibly Peter Steele) throwing up after having Jack Daniel's and Pizza for dinner. The second track is called Angry Neurotic Catholics and it deals with a kid who commits suicide while listening to Black Sabbath because he is mad at the world and rejects his Catholic upbringing. But the delivery is funnier than my description would suggest. I believe the song is about Peter Steele to a certain extent since he was raised Catholic. Race War deals with the touchy subject of race war. But you probably gathered that by the name of the song. I'm great at stating the obvious today. 

Jesus Hitler is a ridiculously funny song with a riff and a guitar solo strongly reminiscent of Black Sabbath. The song describes Adolph Hitler and Jesus Christ being reincarnated in the same body with the resulting unfortunate person not knowing what to do with his life. Does he try to save the world or destroy it? But more than posing a blasphemous situational question, the song perfectly shows how hard it is to tell if a religious leader or a political leader is genuine or hiding a darker agenda. Ground Zero Brooklyn and U.S.A. for U.S.A. remind me of 9/11 as I'm sure they do for anyone who has heard the songs. After 9/11 pretty much every American took on a "don't fuck with the eagle" attitude and a sense of blind patriotism. Manic Depression is a heavy cover of the Jimi Henrdix song.

2001 reissue cover
Jack Daniel's and Pizza (0:55)
Angry Neurotic Catholics (2:48)
S.M.D. (2:27)
Ground Zero Brooklyn (4:40)
Race War (5:56)
Inner Conflict (5:03)
Jesus Hitler (5:17)
Technophobia (3:56)
Manic Depression (Jimi Hendrix) (3:07)
USA for USA (3:21)
Five Billion Dead (3:02)
Sex and Violence (3:51)
World Wars III and IV (demo) [reissue only] (7:42) 
Carnivore (demo) [reissue only] (3:41)
The Subhuman (demo) [reissue only] (11:09) 

Line-up: Peter Steele, Marc Piovanetti, Louie Beato

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