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I had been into thrash for about five years when I came across this gem. Carnivore was one of NY's crossover heroes when the movement was at its height in the eighties. I had come across their name a few times when I was looking at bands like S.O.D., but only decided to check out this band since I enjoyed a good deal of Type O Negative's work and was interested to see what Peter Steele had been up to before starting up the Drab Four. I only regret not finding out about this beast earlier.
Pop this sucker in and your ears are assaulted by what could only be qualified as what an aural holocaust would sound like. You have everyone's favorite technophobic, modern-day savage belting out roars while hammering out a wall of bass notes. The guitarist rams riffs down your throat, busting out catchy solos here and there to break up the tidal wave of sound pummeling you. The drummer accentuates both of them with a more refined approach to drumming compared to his contemporaries, but still uses enough double bass to please any thrash fan. The production's fuzzy, similar to Carcass' Symphonies of Sickness, but if you've been through the production jobs on any Sabbat album or Repulsion's Horrified, this is godly. The compositions are very well done, blending thrash riffs, punk attitude and speed, and doom passages into eight bloody chunks of metal. The standouts are the first three tracks; while all of the songs here sit on their own pedestals of greatness, Predator, Carnivore, and Male Supremacy are catchy as hell and essentially dictate what you should expect to hear coming out of your speakers for the next forty minutes.
What makes this album so great to me besides the solid musicianship of Lord Petrus and his crew are the lyrics. I was laughing my ass off most of the way through the album because it sounded like the soundtrack to some low-grade sci-fi flick. Almost all of the songs are absurdly written tales of killing people, nuclear war, fucking, cannibalism, and other manly pursuits. It's cheesy, sure, but when you're presented with someone yelling "I LOVE TO EAT PUSSY!", it's undeniably badass at the same time.
It's quite the far cry from what Steele would do after Carnivore collapsed, but their debut is an extremely solid piece of thrash that leaves it's boot print squarely on your ass for a long time. While shit like Darkness Descends and Peace Sells were coming out around the same time and slaughtering people with their own brands of thrash, Carnivore's crossover trip in the vein of Speak English or Die was a pretty refreshing take on the genre, and not to mention hilarious as well. A highly recommended album.
Oh fuck yes! DIVE! DIVE!! This is comedy metal at its finest. No substitutes and, sadly, no successors. S.O.D is almost there but falls short, Nitro's career (however unintentional) a distant second, Brendan Small's Dethalbum can eat shit for all I care, and even Carnivore's sophomore effort (while still hilarious,) fail to reach the same quality of music and humor.
Kicking off with the side-splitting, Omega Man-inspired "Predatorr!" Good gravy just listen to that. The drums, courtesy of one Louie Beateaux, are damn fine. Not really thrashy but more pounding and doom-y. Speaking of doom check out the doom inspired bridge verses, Decapitation! A meal of! Vagina and BREASTS! Yeah, this ain't an album for those easily offended. The guitar solo in this one is quite good, average but good nonetheless. Let's not forget Lord Petrus' vocal delivery and his rolling of the R's. Till Lindeman eat shit, Peter Steele did it before you and does it much better.
Next is "CARNIVOAR!!! I'd Like to Eat Ya!" A song about, among other things, eating pussy and DIVE! DIVE! It has that odd intro, you know, Grrrretings and felicitations Children of Teknolojyyy! But what do you care, when the riffs, particularly the verse riff, is so damn good. Add to the mix an offensive-yet-catchy-as-fuck chorus you have the makings of a metal classic. Keith's solo is good as well.
You'll quickly notice that the lyrics are so damn funny. This was written when Men was Men, when the 'damn Reds' still existed and the threat of nuclear holocaust was just a button press away. The lyrics paints a vision of a future where post-Armageddon, neo-barbaric, nuclear warriors do battle and they raise human beings a cattle (in addition to something that tastes so fine like sweet April wine.) Bleak, but gut-wrenchingly hilarious!
Even the songs that don't revolve Fallout-esque futures kick ass. "MALE! SU! PRE! MA! CY!" has that oddball acoustic break that actually adds to the song (Opeth take notes!!) "God Is Dead" being a total riff-o-rama. The aforementioned "CARNIVOAR!"
The album ends with the epic "Let's start a WAR!" er... I meant "World Wars III and IV." I like the end bit where after the drums they sample a patriotic song to sound like it's coming from a radio amidst the ruins of civilization.
Productionwise this album kinda blows. Muddy as hell, Peter's bass is buried, the drums a little too loud, and Keith's guitar is a little muddy. It's not bad for 80s production but could've been better. I like the effects on Peter's vox though, it makes him sound more menacing (as if his 'I-got-a-million-balls!' bass voice isn't menacing enough.)
All in all, this is one hi-frickin'-larious album. One that's always funny from beginning to end. Screw Dethklok, if you want top-notch comedy metal then track down this album! Preferably the re-issue, it's got better sound quality and includes the 1986 Nuclear Warriors demo.
Any thrash metal fan should love Carnivore and any Type O Negative one should hate Carnivore but the point is that everybody should know Carnivore! Back in 1985 those crazy guys, guided by the violent Pete Steele released their great debut. They were so obsessed by nuclear warfare and disasters, by male power and technology at the point of considering themselves as warriors from a devastated future.
We must say that anyway, the ironical component was essential in their lyrics, that were voluntary exaggerated. Few metalheads understood this thing butmany began to take them seriously. You can love or hate this group but you can’t stay indifferent listening to their music. Their live shows are really a mess with blood bins thrown on the public, pieces of meat, bones and so on.
Their abilities in mixing a lot of genres (speed, thrash, doom, epic, punk and hardcore) is a trademark known everywhere and all these things are present in perfect doses in this great debut. “Predator” already shows us the group’s most aggressive part while the title track is full of female vagitus and speed restarts.
But only with the third track “Male Supremacy” we can really reach the top in songwriting and irony. The start has an hard rock flavour while going on the intensity grows and the refrain is made to be shouted to death. The acoustic break after a series of raw up tempo is fucking great: totally out of the blue, terrific with the baritone vocals by Pete, describing a sex affair…with “Armageddon” the doom parts are well balanced with speed ones and the great, profound, raw vocals.
“God Is Dead” features non sense refrain with semi samba breaks! With the following, awesome “Thermonuclear Warrior” and the punkish – thrashy “World Wars III & IV” we reach the top again. This is total madness with great screamed vocals, orgiastic riffage and apocalyptic atmosphere…and check out the lyrics! Fucking awesome!!!
All in all, this is a great album. The following “Retaliation” would have been more punk and less original, so if you want to listen to their real masterpiece you must own this one.
Sadly, Type O Negative has overshadowed Peter Steele's previous project from the 80s, Carnivore. Anybody who enjoys thrash or crossover music needs to listen to "Carnivore" by Carnivore. It is simply a must. The speed that is oh-so contrary to the tempos put forth by Type O and the anger- oh my, the anger. The lyrics are the most innovative and creative of almost any band out there, and all the while the listener can almost laugh their ass off while headbanging for their life.
Almost every song on this album is a classic. The true highlights, though, are Predator, Carnivore, Male Supremacy, God is Dead and World Wars III & IV. Predator is a pummeling paced speed metal masterpiece about cannibalism while Carnivore is a bit slower, but more lewd- describing the joys of performing oral sex on females. Male Supremacy and World Wars II & IV are probably the most prominantly powerful peices on the album. They display masterful song writing, use time changes extremely well and the flow is almost perfect.
The musicianship is interesting because you get a feeling that says "wow" from it, but at the same time you can recognize that they are certainly not among the kings of their crafts. They have the feel of a punk band, but they play tight like a thrash band. Again, if you enjoy crossover music- you need this album.
Before Lord Petrus T. Steele misplaced his balls and started posing for Playgirl was this complete masterpeice of New York thrash, which aside from The Years of Decay might be the best thing the city ever had to offer. It's 1985, and Pete Steele and his cronies are all decked in leather and lionclothes waiting for the first press of the button to turn the city in a post apocalytic wasteland and THIS is the soundtrack of that sentiment. It's blood thirsty and ruthless, it packs a mean punch and a tongue in cheek sense of humour delivered with a bang on deadpan delivery.
Things kick off with Predator, a raging thrasher with a rapid fire delivery. Then all of a sudden we are treated to a massive Sabbath styledf break (Broken splintered bones, boiling blood...); oh yes, this isn't your typical NYC thrash break, this is something darker and heavier, and it's GOOD. Carnivore is the most fun of all the songs on here, and also the most crossover-esque; everything from the hilarious sexual innuendo of the lyrics to the face fucking gang shout chorus ... if memory serves right it's around 2:47 or so when the ball REALLY drops: I LOVE!!! TO EAST PUSSY!!! Oh yes, das ist kreig! Pete Steele's vocal delivery is brilliant, somewhere between a rabid snarl and an angry shout, but there is also some indescribable regal quality to it, possibly in the way he rolls his r's to sound like some sort of king of the wasteland.
While the first two songs are fun with sort of a punky feel Male Supremacy is where things start to go over the top. It starts out as a raging thrasher complete with some more fun sing a long choruses: fuck, is anyone looking at these lyrics? They are brilliant, a half sarcastic take on chauvanism: "between my legs I've got what it takes to be called a man,
fighting, feasting, fucking all I can". Brilliant! Then suddenly the song breaks down into some sort of tender ballad to constrast the pervese testosterone-cranked-to-11 vibe of the first half of the song, and it works so well that some time around this point your frontal lobe will be wetting itself with sensory overload.
Armageddon and Legion of Doom are more of the same (good thing), and are equally memorable; seriously, there is not one BAD song on this fucking album, every song is memorable in it's own way. Still these tracks contain the same sort of punkish energy as the first two, with MORE shout a long choruses ... ah, this is the stuff dreams are made of, they just don't make 'em like they used to.
God Is Dead, while not a bad song is definatly the low point of the album. The lyrics rule, but it's a bit sluggish and chorus is just a little to lounge music styled for my tastes. Adventurous, yes. Ownage of the highest order? Not really. But still good, and that choir of the end of the song just WORKS, if only they had changed the chorus up a bit this song might ravage souls like the rest of the album
Oh, and the rest of the album: Jebus H. Christ! The last two tracks are as close to perfection as Steele ever got. Check out the lyrics to Thermonuclear Warrior, this is fucking poetry, this is the script to a John Carpenter film, this is a masterpeice! Nice fast tempo, and a nice fucking breakdown (Crush! Kill! De-stroy!) that really drives the point home .... winnar! Then we have World Wars III & IV; sorry everyone, pray for a quick death because according to this song you are pretty much fucked anyways! Epic thrash of the highest caliber to be found here, hilarious lyrics to boot, nice riffwork ... oh God, brain is bleeding, my neck has snapped in half and somehow I'm stilll attempting to headbang: it's that fucking good.
This is NYC Thrash at it's finest, before Carnivore decided to turn the Agnostic Front influence to "11" on the next one (check out S.M.D.!). Essential, no question about it.
The twisted genius of Pete Steele is now synonymous with the tragi–romantic Gothicism of Type O Negative. However, many Type O fans are oblivious to the fact Pete was once a hardcore hero, in one of the leading bands in the New York crossover scene in the mid to late 80s.
On first listen, this is pretty raw stuff, for it's day. It's a relentless pounding of percussive New York style thrash, reminiscent of Nuclear Assault and SOD, with a leaden guitar sound, double kick drum barrages, Agnostic Front style shout along choruses, and Pete's surprisingly clearly annunciated voice over it all.
Lyrically, the album is as testosterone laden and muscle headed as the music. The subject matter runs through male chauvinism, post–nuclear society where the law of the jungle rules, war, motorcycle gangs, um, war, and er… Armageddon. Much of Type O's material deals with messed up relationships. Perhaps there are a few clues as to where the inspiration for such things came from:
"I Detect the scent of prey by, her menstruation, you have been chosen the main course, Congratulations" or the delightful "Testosterone mates with adrenaline, bearing a son of insane aggression, women will never know or understand the power men feel to kill with their hands".
It all sounds rather bleak and sexist, and perhaps it is, but there's something that sets Carnivore apart from thrash metal bands of the time. There are melodies, musical nuances, and subtleties not immediately noticeable up first inspection. An example: In the middle of the pounding track "Male Supremacy" there is an acoustic break in the music, and suddenly Pete Steele's voice comes back in, not as a hardcore shout, but as the theatrical bass singing voice so recognisable on Type O Negative albums. It's inspirational stuff!
There are hidden melodies and hook lines throughout the album. Many of the tracks could have been heads–down, charge–for–the–finish–line type songs which fly past unnoticed, but instead the listener is drawn in to shout–along choruses and unexpected melodies. You'll find yourself chanting "Armageddon" to the chorus of the track of the same name. Many 80s thrash and crossover bands never reached the heights Carnivore attained on just their debut, but this remains a little known treasure, when it should have been remembered as a classic, mentioned in the same breath as Nuclear Assault, Exodus, and the overrated Testament.
In the not too distant future, when mankind has been reduced to a squirming pile of shit, it may help you to cope if you have a sense of humour. Such is the picture painted by this first Carnivore LP.... summed up in cliff-notes form by "Thermonuclear Warrior", the whole album expands on that song's themes of pre- and post-apocalyptic warfare. Crush! Kill! Destroy! The fallout will come, and "strands of malformed DNA will strangulate our future", and when all is said and done, it will be a horrible fight to the finish.
Opener "Predator" starts things off with a bang - Petrus's rapid-fire vocals alternate between more raging thrash passages full of tongue-in-cheek insights. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT! Only the strong survive, the weak are farmed like cattle, and this is dark humour at its finest. The Time Machine meets Dr. Strangelove meets... Debbie Does Dallas?
I LOVE TO EAT PUSSY!!!
That's the second song on here, which is the most overtly, flagrantly sexual, but of course the whole theme of fucking pervades the entire album, from the offhand references to "fight, kill, fuck all I can" to the sweet and gentle making-love-as-opposed-to-fucking middle section of Male Supremacy. Speaking of middle sections, there are a few "where the FUCK did that come from?!" parts of the album, but even those go together well, and help emphasise the theme. There's the contrasting sections of battle and reproduction in Male Supremacy (the two things dudes are apparently good for!), and then most interestingly, the almost disco-like passage of the chorus of God is Dead.
God! Is Dead!! The quirky, bass-driven section emphasises completely the hilarity of organised religion. Throw in the gospel chorus at the end, singing in perfect church fashion... GOOOODDD IIISSS DEEEAADDD!!!! Man, Peter Steele really came up with some great ideas here, illustrating not just his fictional ramblings of thermonuclear death, but also how our current world is PRETTY MUCH EXACTLY THE SAME.
Oh shit, better keel over, kids. The human race isn't exactly the most civilised thing ever put on this planet... and maybe it's all for the better if we die in World War 3. Or four. That's the final song, that predicts that eventually we'll get ourselves killed, and even the planet itself is fucked. Pray for your death, because if you survive... you'll die in pain. IN WORLD WAR FIVE!!!!
So is this enjoyable music? That's right, it is... it does what SOD cannot; namely, be consistently hilarious after many listens. That is because solid metal passages back up Petrus's misanthropic growlings. The vocal delivery is something to behold - not quite death vocals, but very powerful anyway. Then the alternation of blazing fast and crushing slow passages keeps the whole thing interesting. Throw in the random singalong chorus, from the shout-along horror of Legions of Doom, to the "oh shit!!!" yellings of "Armageddon!!!" to the sunday-school derangement of God is Dead. Pretty catchy music; something to throw on when you crawl out of the wreckage and build yourself a vinyl player out of the skeletons of those who were fortunate enough to meet death quickly.
This album is from an era where the Soviet Union was still alive, the outbreak of war seemed inevitable, military technology had advanced to where the world could be destroyed by a nuclear holocaust at the push of a button within 15 minutes, and movies like The Day After gripped the nation. It was during this time that Carnivore focused on that reality and composed jeremiads of a bleak and grim future where cannibal barbarians clad in leather, fur and chains ruled a radioactive wasteland while survivors huddled underground like moles, where God commits suicide and condemns mankind to utter damnation. Nothing like it could ever quite be created again.
The music represents their themes very well. If the metal influences of thrash were taken directly from Black Sabbath, it would sound quite a bit like Carnivore. It's not pre-death metal like Kreator or Slayer, but it's nevertheless very bold, brutal and intimidating. There's strong passages of Sabbath-like doom throughout the songs that paint utterly bleak landscapes of a nuclear wasteland inbetween the furious outbreaks of deep-toned, warlike thrash. Lord Petrus's vocals on this album are among my favorite vocals in all of metal, as they're clear and bold yet sound like violent barbarian battle cries from a hulking nuclear warrior, especially with the faint echo effect occasionally used.
Almost all the songs on this album are outstanding. Armageddon is a solid headbanger that's a direct tribute to the horrors of nuclear war. Male Supremacy is amazing in its capacity to go from insane ultra-masculine savage barbarity to a soft love song, and then right back to insanity again. Thermonuclear Warrior is an insane song of genocidal violence with some very intense riffs and drum work. World War III and IV is an epic and brutal, and a bit over the top masterpiece of a nuclear exchange and a brutal, unrestricted warfare that eventually ends up in the extinction of man and the complete planetary destruction of the Earth.
I've had this in my possession for years, and it never gets old. It's an essential thrash classic that often goes overlooked.
Thanks to the mighty Spatilomantis, I was able to procure a copy of this album, and god damn am I happy i did. This is, at its core, thrash metal..but with a wealth of unique personality and style that you will never hear in any other metal band. Carnivore symbolizes all that is raunchy, mysogynistic, cruel and warlike...yet with an obvious tongue in cheek flair that lets you know how much the band is getting a kick out of, no doubt, pissing off so many people with their crazy antics. Those of us who were too young at the time to experience a live Carnivore show missed a great thing, as I understand it....the band decked out like post-atomic warriors, insighting violence and aggression as they played dangerous anthems such as "Male Supremacy", "Race War" and "Sex and Violence". However, as there will most likely never be another live Carnivore gig, we have to make due with their two album releases..and this is the cream of their all too brief crop.
Right away, when you fire up your stereo and turn the volume up to "thrashing level"...you are assaulted with the sound of modern warfare, which sets the stage for what's to come: namely, bludgeoning thrash numbers that aren't quite like any other band in this genre and, as well as speed and aggression, offer a lot of interesting surprises. Of course, this is Carnivore, and what becomes immediately apparent is that Pete Steele is the histrionic centre of the band with his very up front, very clear and understandable vocals. I think if Tipper Gore had heard this album back in 1985 she would have dropped dead on the spot, and Megadeth and Judas Priest wouldn't have had to worry about a thing. The lyrical content here is basically a completely over the top assault on everything that's normal and comforting....a depiction of a post-nuclear world in which our ideals have turned up side down, packs of rampant lunatics foraging the gutted city streets, raping hapless women and burning works of art, absolutely revelling in filth and degradation...and the lyrics are expressed with such obvious zeal and glee that you might almost believe that Lord Petrus is just itching for this coming apocalypse, and that you'd better toughen yourself up for what's approaching, else he'll fucking kick your ass and rape your daughter, then delight in shitting on her face.
From this rather brutish description, one might expect the music to be noisy and haphazard...but actually it's quite cleverly done. While the basis is clearly thrash, the band throws in a lot of slow, doomy passages in most of the songs that bring to mind some kind of rumbling, ultra-destructive behemoth. The playing is reasonably tight, and production is nicely heavy and loud. The vocals for me are one of the highlights, as they are shouted with this feeling of total abandon and ferocity that you just want to scream along and break anything in the vicinity, from tables and chairs to the faces of any cocksucker who happens to get in your way. They're double-tracked, too, and slightly pitch-shifted I think, so they have a very twisted, mutated feel to them conjuring up the image of some commic book character with radiation imubed super-powers of strength and endurance. There are also a few unusual breaks in the songs...."Male Supremacy" starts out as a prime example of arsedestroying thrash, then suddenly and totally without warning breaks into a slow, mellow section with quiet guitar and deep, resonant vocals like those Steele would use almost ten years later in Type O Negative. This section of the song is supposed to depict the strapping barbarian, as he comes home from a day of fighting, hunting and killing, to find his woman waiting subserviently for him, worshipping her simultaneously (at least her flesh) and telling her that he fights for her. Musically this section might seem a little clumsy, but somehow you just know the band intended it that way...after all, a true barbarian has a hard time admitting these sorts of sentimental feelings, right?. Then there's "God is Dead", which features a very strange and catchy chorus of oddball percussion, bass and vocals (and even a distant falseto or female voice coming in at the end of the track). "World Wars III and IV" is something of an epic, though it's rather repetitive, it tells a pretty interesting tale, and the end of the actual song heralds a couple of minute of ambient wind and distant feedback type noise that lets you know that this is the end, the world is waste for good and the human race is extinguished...but ah, what a glorious and fucked up ride it's been.
So, obviously, this album was pretty ahead of its time for 1985, and I honestly don't see why any fan of the somewhat more extreme varieties of metal wouldn't absolutely lap this up. Sure, the follow-up, "Retaliation", might be more well known, and indeed, is probably even more raunchy in lyrical excess than this debut, but in my view this album is vastly superior in most ways, although I do still enjoy "Retaliation" quite a bit. There's 100% more metal on this album and it's a lot more experimental and interesting, and lacks the hardcore influences that made that second recording a lot less memorable. Do yourself a favour and pick this up...if you have the balls for it, that is.