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Bon Appetit! - 90%

GroinAnnihilator, November 5th, 2009

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.