Title: “Carnivore” (remaster)
Label: Roadrunner Records
Release Date: 1/23/2001
Genre: Heavy Metal
“Carnivore” was the self-titled debut release by the band of the same name, and they were a group fronted by Peter Steele in the years before he formed Type-O-Negative. Their inception came shortly after the breakup of Steele’s previous band Fallout and the album was initially released on vinyl in 1986. This particular Thrash Metal band approached their audience garbed as barbarians from a Post-Apocalyptic world of the future that had been laid waste by the fires of nuclear conflict. Their lyrical content was quite scatological at times and even somewhat misogynistic with their overall subject matter dealing with the hunting and killing of the remaining humans or bringing death to those unworthy of existence in this new violent terrain. It’s pretty heavy stuff for the time but when you look at what they were doing in the genre as far as musical composition and the delivery of a memorable image they were very effective. Then referred to as Lord Petrus T. Steele, the imposing 6’6” stature of the singing bassist made those who witnessed the band in person cringe for fear of incurring his wrath. Guitars were deftly handled by Keith Alexander and drums were Louis Beateaux and if you had to think of the musical lines that they fell closely against I would say it was a blend of what Thrash was building up to be and some cool traditional stuff. The album begins with the track “Predator” but based on the way that the second track begins I felt it would have been the better album opener. “Carnivore” leads in with Steele speaking to the listener directly as he growls “Greetings and Felicitations Children Of Technology” before the track takes you deeper into the bands cannibalistic premise.
During “Male Supremacy” we get some deep resonance from Steele and mellow guitar sound that we would eventually find in Type-O-Negative material. It was interesting to hear this aspect of the band since it was not common in their sound. “Armageddon” is about as close to Speed Metal as the guys get and they sing about the world’s end. “Legion Of Doom” is a blend of some of the quick elements of Hardcore on top of the Metal but suffers a little as Steele tries to fit too many words into the main verse. Some of it worked, but some also seems like it was happening too quick. “God Is Dead” is a number that I am sure pissed a lot of people off when it was first delivered but if you read the lyrics it is being presented as how life in this new world of despair and decay is. The bleak view of how mankind has fallen continues with “Thermonuclear Warrior” and “World Wars III and IV” and should you make time to read along with the lyrics that are enclosed in the foldout booklet you will find that it reads like some very intense Science Fiction that could very well become Science Fact if we continue to allow greed and contempt against nature rule our day.
I wasn’t a fan back in the old days and only looked back on them after getting interested in Type-O-Negative but I had friends who were loyal to a fault for them and had heard about the blood spattered shows and just how violent the crowd would be incited to get. The remastered edition of this release features some expanded artwork and three demo tracks from songs that would actually appear on the bands second album “Retaliation”. Despite their being rough mixes, they sound pretty good and should interest anyone who ever had some level of curiosity about this powerful and ahead of their time band. If you want to take a horrifying journey into what could potentially be the future of humankind then I suggest you wander next to as opposed to in front of Carnivore to do it. While Manowar might have held the sword high in battle for Metal’s glory, I think I would rather run into them in a dark alley as opposed to anyone in Carnivore during their heyday.
3. Male Supremacy
5. Legion Of Doom
6. God Is Dead
7. Thermonuclear Warrior
8. World Wars III & IV
9. U.S.A. for U.S.A. (demo) – bonus
10. S.M.D. (demo) – bonus
11. Sex And Violence (demo) – bonus
Official Website: http://www.inner-conflict.com/