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Hostia – Carnivore Carnival

Hostia
Carnivore Carnival
by Brian Lowrie at 09 October 2020, 11:37 AM

Poland has been home to many extreme metal underground heavyweights, with lyrical content revolving around the blasphemous and unholy taking precedence. With their sophomore release entitled “Carnivore Carnival”, Warsaw locals Hostia are attempting to carve a slightly different path, combining grindcore, death metal and even elements of rock’n’roll, into a more consolidated package than what is considered “the norm” of modern heavy music.

The album starts with “He Loves You”, which is a track consisting of nothing but guitar feedback and an audio clip of George Carlin’s infamous joke about a hypocrisy of religion. “Slaves” is the follow up track and does not fail to set the stage for the rest of the album. “Krasnodar Kitchen”, which showcases more groove than grind, brings heavy riffs in the vein of Misery Index to the listener. “Grind The Filth” is a more ominous track, starting with a barrage of drums and guitar that doesn’t lose pace in its 84 second runtime. Hostia bring the old school flavor back with “Fire Walks With Me”, containing enough groove to make any Dying Fetus fan bang their head, until the final 15 seconds which blindside the listener with more blast beats and tremolo picking. One of the heavier tracks is “God’s Coffin”, which makes use of palm-muted guitars, and a clumsy yet effective tempo only to transition with a cheeky use of cowbell into a standard 4/4 rhythm to close. “Jason’s Cardio” shows the band’s thrash-oriented roots, often in between heavier riffs which allow the vocals to closely mimic the rhythms. My favorite track of the album, “Witchfucker”, finally lets the band loose to bring a more traditional grindcore track to the album. Opening with dissonance, blast beats and tons of feedback, the bass takes a more notable presence in this song, which seems to end at just the right time. “We Did It” might seem like a strangely titled song in an album which revels in the profane, but might be the most mosh-worthy, thanks to a contrast of speedier riffs and slower guitar chugging.

The theme of wisecracking song titles continues with “Have A Faith”, which kicks off with the same pace as “Krasnodar Kitchen” but slightly more melodic, isn’t afraid to embrace two-step rhythms in conjunction with other riffs in the same style as the intro riff. “No Longer” has a call-and-response between drums and guitar, and exhibits the most vocal range on the album, relying mostly on shouts as opposed to the commonly used lower growl. The title track “Carnivore Carnival” is a return to the stylings of the earlier tracks of the album. A seamless transition from this track takes us into “Wild Hunt”, a more focused death metal track, which marks a loose stylistic shift for the rest of the album. “Chvrch Burner” could be considered a love-letter to bands like Cannibal Corpse, relying on slower riffs to carry it; this results in one of the songs that shows off the range the band is capable of in an. “Death By Sawing” is, in my opinion, one of the more obnoxious tracks (and not in a favorable way), essentially chanting the song title for the duration of the track. “Dance 4 Jesus” has this same issue but remains a stronger song by being over twice as long and having more riffs to give the track more meat on the bones. The final track “Panzer Church”, could be considered a bit of a culmination of the styles presented in the album thus far, but in a more streamlined version.

The album is a quick and relatively clean sounding affair, fitting 18 tracks in 23 minutes and 43 seconds. While many would argue this could cause the audience to want some ideas to be fleshed out more, one could also make the argument that this gives the songs no time to turn stale. As a listener, I found the latter half of the album to be a bit clumsy, save for a few moments. Upon repeated plays, the album really starts to contrast itself between what it does best and what I feel it does “just okay”; yet, it also doesn’t give the feeling of having to try too hard at what it does best, leaving me to question some of the creative choices that were made. The band themselves describe themselves as “Groovy Godless Grindcore”, however this album feels more like “Groovy Godless Death Metal with the occasional nod to Grindcore”.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. He Loves You
2. Slaves
3. Krasnodar Kitchen
4. Grind The Filth
5. Fire Walks With Me
6. God’s Coffin
7. Jason’s Cardio
8. Witchfucker
9. We Did It
10. Have A Faith
11. No Longer
12. Carnivore Carnival
13. Wild Hunt
14. Chvrch Bvrner
15. Death By Sawing
16. Dance 4 Jesus
17. Panzer Church
Lineup:
St Sixtus – Vocals
St Anacletus – Guitars
St Evaristus – Drums
St Xyxtus – Bass
Record Label: Deformeathing Production
     


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Edited 30 October 2020
 

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