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To The Roots Of REAL Swedish Death - 79%

CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8, February 18th, 2008

The very first Carnage demo is a true brutal assault of early Swedish death metal, the one inspired to Nihilist with a full dose of early grindcore. The production is a low budget one and the sounds are quite chaotic. The band plays compact even if the members were very young at the time. The main inspirations were Repulsion (in the guitar sound and blast beats) and the early death metal movement.

“Crime Against Humanity” is the original version of the great “Gentle Exhuming” in Dark Recollection album. The start is on mid paced, obscure riffs while going on the grind influences come into the sound with several blast beats. The vocals are the worst part in this demo: they are too growly and “suffocated” by the music, with a strange, animal distortion.

“Aftermath” shows a pounding bass part followed by weird guitar lines. Truly obscure. Anyway here they don’t forget the up tempo and blast beats. “The Day Man Lost” maybe is the song that shows the most preponderant Swedish sound. This one is full of moshing up tempo and fucking great riffs.

Well, a good start, “ruined” partially by the poor production (normal) and some vocals. Anyway, this is a very important occasion to discover the roots of a genre that would have made lots of great albums. For die hard fans.

The Carnage Demos Part 1 of 2 - 68%

ThrashingMad, November 22nd, 2007

[Note: I do not actually own this demo. I have heard these tracks through the bonus tracks on Dark Recollections]

So this is Carnage's first demo and it is really weird to see where they started off. It is weird because the songs on this demo are of the dirty death/grind variety and sound very different from what the band would go on to do later in their career. It is pretty good despite being very short and having some production problems.

While this demo is good it is definitely flawed. The main flaws come with the production. Now of course it is expected for a band's first demo to not have the best production, but this is worse than most. The guitars sound very fuzzy and they make the riffs much less coherent than they should be. Some of the riffs are reduced to complete noise because of this. Also for some reason the band puts some odd effects on the vocals at times. It makes the vocals extremely deep and guttural, and it just doesn't sound good. So besides these problems with the production there really isn't much wrong with the demo.

Like I stated before, this demo would fit under the category of death/grind. The songs frequently alternate between fast grinding and slower, sludgy sections. Despite being noisy the riffs are very good and at times oddly catchy. There aren’t any guitar solos in any of the songs but there are a few nice leads here and there. The vocals are pretty deep death growls and they sound good as well. There really aren’t any blatant flaws when it comes to the actual music. The demo length is very short; it’s only about 4:30 long. This takes little bit away from the recording because it doesn’t really give it time to sink in. But that’s not really a big problem more of just a minor irritant.

Overall this demo is pretty damn good. The guitar riffs are very good and so are the vocals. Production problems hold this demo back from being really good, but in the end it is still a good first effort.

The day grindcore was the recipe - 82%

Drowned, December 26th, 2005

This is the first release from Carnage in the form of a demo tape. At this point, David, Fred and Matti were not yet in the band and the music was very different from "Dark Recollections" or any of the early Dismember stuff. The style here is straight-up grindcore with little sign of death metal. Production wise, the recording is very noisy with excessive distortion, which makes the low-end drums and vocals hard to make out. The majority of the vocals were recorded through a processor to give them that trademark goregrind effect that many bands would later use in the 1990's. The singer, Johan Liiva, does use his natural voice occasionally, but it sounds rather soulless and weak compared to Matti Kärki's.

The tape consists of three short songs played at an almost constant fast tempo, with lots of blastbeats and quick grindcore riffing to back it up. When the music does slow down, notably in the middle sections of "Aftermath", there are some catchy bass and guitar leads that work their way into the songs. An interesting fact about this demo is that "Crime Against Humanity" and the title track were later combined (and slightly restructured) to form the song "Gentle Exhuming" on the Carnage full-length. I think it would have been even cooler if they threw in "Aftermath" as well. After all, the whole demo only clocks in at 4:36!

"The Day Man Lost" was later re-released, along with a special rough mix version, on the CD reissue of "Dark Recollections"; but I wouldn't say that the new version is worth buying for this material alone, especially if you already own the original split with Cadaver. And if you're a die-hard Carnage fan then you probably already own it on cassette anyway.