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bleak and hilarious at the same time - 80%

UltraBoris, April 2nd, 2004

In the not too distant future, when mankind has been reduced to a squirming pile of shit, it may help you to cope if you have a sense of humour. Such is the picture painted by this first Carnivore LP.... summed up in cliff-notes form by "Thermonuclear Warrior", the whole album expands on that song's themes of pre- and post-apocalyptic warfare. Crush! Kill! Destroy! The fallout will come, and "strands of malformed DNA will strangulate our future", and when all is said and done, it will be a horrible fight to the finish.

Opener "Predator" starts things off with a bang - Petrus's rapid-fire vocals alternate between more raging thrash passages full of tongue-in-cheek insights. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT! Only the strong survive, the weak are farmed like cattle, and this is dark humour at its finest. The Time Machine meets Dr. Strangelove meets... Debbie Does Dallas?


That's the second song on here, which is the most overtly, flagrantly sexual, but of course the whole theme of fucking pervades the entire album, from the offhand references to "fight, kill, fuck all I can" to the sweet and gentle making-love-as-opposed-to-fucking middle section of Male Supremacy. Speaking of middle sections, there are a few "where the FUCK did that come from?!" parts of the album, but even those go together well, and help emphasise the theme. There's the contrasting sections of battle and reproduction in Male Supremacy (the two things dudes are apparently good for!), and then most interestingly, the almost disco-like passage of the chorus of God is Dead.

God! Is Dead!! The quirky, bass-driven section emphasises completely the hilarity of organised religion. Throw in the gospel chorus at the end, singing in perfect church fashion... GOOOODDD IIISSS DEEEAADDD!!!! Man, Peter Steele really came up with some great ideas here, illustrating not just his fictional ramblings of thermonuclear death, but also how our current world is PRETTY MUCH EXACTLY THE SAME.

Oh shit, better keel over, kids. The human race isn't exactly the most civilised thing ever put on this planet... and maybe it's all for the better if we die in World War 3. Or four. That's the final song, that predicts that eventually we'll get ourselves killed, and even the planet itself is fucked. Pray for your death, because if you survive... you'll die in pain. IN WORLD WAR FIVE!!!!

So is this enjoyable music? That's right, it is... it does what SOD cannot; namely, be consistently hilarious after many listens. That is because solid metal passages back up Petrus's misanthropic growlings. The vocal delivery is something to behold - not quite death vocals, but very powerful anyway. Then the alternation of blazing fast and crushing slow passages keeps the whole thing interesting. Throw in the random singalong chorus, from the shout-along horror of Legions of Doom, to the "oh shit!!!" yellings of "Armageddon!!!" to the sunday-school derangement of God is Dead. Pretty catchy music; something to throw on when you crawl out of the wreckage and build yourself a vinyl player out of the skeletons of those who were fortunate enough to meet death quickly.