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Reign in Carnage - 97%

Sick6Six, May 31st, 2014
Written based on this version: 2002, CD, Blackend

This album should be considered a cult classic, but it's more of a lost treasure that was never found to begin with. The Crowing Carnage quietly reigned supreme when it was released and still does to this day. I have no recollection of how I first discovered this band, but it was back when they were still active, and I was as much off the grid as their collection of masterpieces are now. This CD has been in my collection for 12 years, traveled thousands of miles through thick and thin and it has always had my back! I may go a year without thinking about it, but occasionally I get this dire need to hear it and frantically dig through my collection (which seems to be growing like an out of control fungus) until I find it. When I want some Crowning Carnage there is just nothing else that will do... Nothing!

Thy Primordial evolved slowly over the years from an old school, lo-fi sound to a more polished grandiose production, but their original formula more or less stayed the same. The Crowning Carnage was probably their crowning achievement, but everything they did was stellar. This album just flat out has some of the most riffilicious face ripping riffs I've ever heard. It's literally impossible to listen to this entire album without headbanging unless you are dead or hate heavy metal. You will find yourself lost in the alien landscape that their music portrays much like their album art often depicts. In a way it has a similar style to the classic At the Heart of Winter but this is like a more hostile winter on a strange alien planet where the snow may melt through your skin on contact.

"Thy" somehow manage to deliver the sickest melodies through sheer aggression and speed. Instead of being 5 repeating power-chord happy Thy ascend and descend through flurries of chords, notes and scales with ferocity, adding this thick and melodic structure to their grinding blackened riffs. While I consider them kind of "melodic" it's more like a really angry melodic that ends up making you mad at random things for no particular reason. There are some more classical metal sounding moments that range from simply slamming to almost anthem-ish. This is a perfect album for venting some anger or giving yourself a boost of strength, and you will feel nice and peaceful when it's all over.

Their drummer backs up the scaled riffs by following along with technical fills, double bass rolls and cymbal accents. A riff that starts out awesome will usually build up to release the full potential of its badassery after a few repeats in which time the drummer continuously kicks it up a notch. He may start with just a mid-paced blast beat, then add double bass, then a faster blast, then even faster double bass on top of the same riff. The drums are particularly crushing and echo in your chest, especially the full and loud battering of the snare drum. There is no need to advertise this as "bone-crushing metal' because it speaks for itself and crushes plenty of bones on its own.

On top of everything else the misanthropic and hateful lyrics are great for practicing your harsh vocal technique in unison with the singer. Most of what is said is intelligible, angry and effectively delivered with a style that could be universally used in pretty much any form of extreme metal. There are no dogs barking or witches shrieking, just a pissed off demon expressing his feelings for how much he doesn't really like anything.

This album is the complete package, trapped somewhere ahead of its time in a deathened black metal mixture, its majesty awaits any willing to find it. I don't always listen to Thy Primordial, but when I do, I prefer The Crowning Carnage.