Carnal Savagery – “Fiendish” (Moribund Records)
Battle Helm Rating
This could quite possibly be the best old school Swe-deth album this year! Formed in the early 90s outta the ashes of Cromlech, Carnal Savagery went on to play shows with Entombed, Dismember, Therion, Tiamat, Merciless, and Meshuggah. Despite some major label offers, this Göteborg band split and the members went on to play in other notorious outfits such as Divine Souls, Wan and Desolation. Last year, they decided to reform the death metal monster, unleashing their debut in “Grotesque Macabre” and now following up with this savage beast! If you salivate for the treacle thick distorted Boss HM-2 sound pioneered by Grave, Dismember and Entombed, then the 13 vicious but ultra-catchy songs here will have you in a veritable feeding frenzy as you death ‘n’ roll uncontrollably to the superb sound, as authentic as it ever was to that bygone era. Led by the hoarse drawl of Mattias Lilja (Desolation, ex-Divine Souls), the filthy twin guitars of Patrik Eriksson (ex-Divine Souls) and Mattias Björklund (Snakemass, ex-Exanthema, ex-Tears of Grief, ex-Sapfhier, ex-Wan) wade in like two heavyweights unloading power riffing haymakers while Mikael Lindgren (ex-Cromlech, ex-Divine Souls) doubles up on this release in handling both the titanic basslines as well as the nuclear drumming – wow. Like the opening salvo from a battleship, ‘Shredded Flesh’ is the expected result as the bludgeon beating commences amid whirring chainsaw guitars and Lindgren’s tasty drum rolls, while the death ‘n’ roll groove is worthy of the gods themselves – man, it’s that fuckin’ good! As the screams wail in on ‘In Death I Thrive’, Lilja’s sandpaper roars mix with fretboard scaling as the booming bass and pistoning double bass drumming lead up to another massive death ‘n’ roll tidal wave basking in endless reverb, roughly hewn basslines and cymbal smashes so loud, a big shout out must go to Dan Swanö @ Unisound who mastered this beast of a fuckin’ release! Wasting no time in building up to another colossal groove on ‘Vermin’, the song menacingly chunders along before unloading its death ‘n’ roll superbly, although what is even better is that there’s a hint of Evil Chuck Schuldiner in there too, with a diddly dee inspired melodic touch underlying the distortion, while the nostalgic cookie monster vocals are an undoubted winner, as indeed is this top-grade release that will justifiably catapult Carnal Savagery to the top!