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Forming in 1982, after the demise of Peter Steele's first band, Fallout, Carnivore were like a Black Sabbath-inspired version of 'Show No Mercy'-era Slayer. But that comparison is not to say Carnivore were unoriginal; they were, in fact, totally unique. While you could easily imagine "World Wars III and IV" or "Carnivore" on one of those early Metal Massacre comps, they still stood apart. Part of the appeal is the incredibly bass-heavy tone, an aesthetic Peter applied to his music at all times. The other notable aspect is Peter's vocal weapon, a gnarly shout mixed high and, on this recording, expanded with just the right amount of delay and reverb.
There's a Motorhead-ish lurch to the first two songs, especially "Carnivore," which features gang vocals in the chorus and has something in common with early Manowar in its main riffs, a band Carnivore seemed modeled after in some respects. The first two songs aren't all that different from their album counterparts, just a bit rawer and drier. Most fascinating is third and final track, "The Subhuman." Over 10 minutes of bleak, brooding, sllllow doom, it's certain (and documented) that Steele was influenced by Trouble and Saint Vitus -- about the only bands doing this sort of thing in 1984 -- and he took that inspiration, as well as the enduring specter of Black Sabbath, and cranked it down to a crawling 16 RPM.
As with all of Peter Steele's recordings, this demo, as rough and primordial as it is, puts you firmly into a singular, unique world that keeps it feeling special and timeless decades after it was recorded.
The first demo from the legendary NYC hardcore, thrash, punk, crossover, and sometimes moaning giants Carnivore.
The demo starts with “World Wars III and IV” where Peter Steel announces himself and the band to the world by shouting “Let’s have a war!”. This fittingly describes the band, no nonsense and definitely in your face. The message is straightforward and to the point without the band taking itself too serious.
“Carnivore”, the second track, again is catchy and fun but still a heavy track that is filled with lyrics that can be interpreted as sexually motivated as well as just being a cannibalistic pig. It also allows Peter Steele’s unique vocals to shine a little more than the previous track.
The last track “the Subhuman” is an 11 minute slow paced preview of what will later become Type O Negative’s signature sound. A dark, gothic and doom metal track that lets Peter Steel explicitly describe some of his perverse stories while the band provides the setting.
Simply put, this a great demo where you can hear the origins of both Carnivore and Type O Negative.