Carnageslumber are a gleefully old-school death metal band with influences ranging from Deicide and Morbid Angel to Cannibal Corpse. Both brutal and technical, Carnageslumber deal in the dark side of human nature. Meanwhile a raw production job harks back to the days of tape trading and bands recording their misanthropic outpourings in damp, poster-covered basements.
Opening with ‘Self-Destructive DNA’, Carnageslumber set out their stall as an uncompromising throw back, their searing riffing and acid-gargled vocals set against a backdrop of relentless percussion. Short and to the point, it spreads through the room like a cloud of toxic gas before dispersing in the face of the Slayer-esque riffing of ‘Lethargical blood’. Singer Paolo Sofia has a suitably nasty voice which has clearly been left unadorned with studio trickery, whilst Salvio Di Marco lays down hyper-speed riffs that would benefit from being a touch higher in this remarkably dry mix. The song is, once again, dispatched in record time and before you know it you’re being battered around the head by ‘Nuclearized veins’, a churning, stuttering beast of a track that should get a circle pit going when the band take their material out on the road. The highlight of the EP, ‘Sokushinbutzu’ is built around a swirling riff that backed by some inventive percussion from Lorenzo Reina. Throwing in a touch of grind for good measure, this is the band at their raw, blood-letting best. The EP closes with the thudding might of ‘Two-headed’, a track built around a juddering riff and Paulo’s increasingly unhinged, horror-themed vocals. Reminiscent of early Autopsy, it’s another track that will get heads banging in the pit with ease.
Carnageslumber have fine riffs and their lyrical themes (based around human Guinea pig experiments and self-destructive behaviour) are satisfyingly dark, but there is little here that cannot be found elsewhere and it is arguable that Carnage Slumber need to expand their horizons on their forthcoming debut if they are to stand out from an ever-growing pack of old-school death metal bands. That said, I enjoyed the hell out of this EP, and not everyone can reinvent the wheel; if you have a taste for some defiantly old-school death metal, then you should check out Carnage Slumber who are happily keeping the dark flame alive. 7