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Thermonuclear Warrior!!! - 97%

GrimAndFrostbitten, April 1st, 2004

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.