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Carnal Tomb - Abhorrent Veneration

Carnal Tomb
Abhorrent Veneration
by Max Elias at 07 August 2019, 9:47 PM

CARNAL TOMB is raucous and ear-splittingly brutal. What is a melody? What are dynamics? These guys don’t know, and don’t need to know. The guitars are distorted past the point of clarity and the vocals might as well not be there, as low down in the mix and unintelligible as they are.

The brutal blasting drums do let up for some slower parts, and there are brief spaces of melodic attack, like on "Amid the Graves"—which is also very bass-heavy. One of the songs with more breathing room is "Dissonant Incubation", which although still with the jarringly raw production, starts with slower Death / Doom type riffage, which continues under a surprisingly melodic (although yes, dissonant) intro solo. The vocals are still ominously earth-shaking and are not any less garbled at this slower tempo. There is more room for guitar work here, with the occasional atmospheric passage ringing out amidst the feedback-laden rhythm section. The closing minute of the song is one such moment.

"Dissonant Incubation" is an exception rather than a rule, as songs like "Feeding Mold" rest once again on a brutal sensory assault. It’s hard to tell what is going on with the guitars exactly, but the drumming is skull-splitting and acrobatic, feeding the air of chaos that the band cultivates. "Feeding Mold" is an exercise in sledgehammering intensity, the spiritual Death Metal continuation of bands like SLAYER.

‘Sepulchral Dissent’ opens with a chilling voiceover, but besides that, the song is mostly relentless attack as usual. There is a small solo around the 1:45 mark, and thankfully soloing is the one this the band does not invite SLAYER comparisons with. Everything cuts out a little before four minutes in and an eerie Tritone-sounding motif plays, later joined by the rest of the band, which repeats those four notes for the rest of the song.

The rest of what’s on the album follows suit; this take on the sub-genre values consistency over variety. The most enthralling thing here is the drumming, if only because the riffing is muddied by the production and usually not distinct enough to be noticed. The drums are doing the most to keep your head banging.

There are two things I take away from listening to this album: this is certainly a case of ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’, and in my opinion, most of these songs are too long. There isn’t anything wrong with the brutality-first style of Death Metal on display here, but part of its appeal lies in its ability to be in and out quickly without wearing its novelty out.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Memorability: 7
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Putrid Fumes
2. Abhorrent Veneration
3. Cryptic Nebula
4. Amid the Graves
5. Dissonant Incubation
6. Feeding Mold
7. Sepulchral Descent
Corpse Ripper - Bass / Vocals
Cryptic Tormentor - Vocals / Guitars / Programming
Vomitchrist - Drums
Goat Eviscerator - Guitars
Record Label: Testimony Records


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