CARNIVORE — Carnivore

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CARNIVORE - Carnivore cover
4.44 | 5 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1985

Tracklist


1. Predator (4:33)
2. Carnivore (3:22)
3. Male Supremacy (7:31)
4. Armageddon (4:14)
5. Legion of Doom (3:31)
6. God Is Dead (4:13)
7. Thermonuclear Warrior (5:38)
8. World Wars III and IV (10:13)

Total Time 43:15

2001 reissue ("Retaliation" pre-production demo:
9. U.S.A. for U.S.A. (3:32)
10. S.M.D. (2:17)
11. Sex and Violence (5:19)

Total time 54:23

Line-up/Musicians

– Keith Alexander / Guitar, Vocals
– Louie Beateaux / Percussion, Vocals, Layout [Innersleeve], [Predatory Burp & Pig Call]
- Petrus T. Steele / Vocals, Bass

Guests/session:
- Richard Darkside / Synthesizer [Electronic Realizations / Synthesized War]
– Carnivore / Other [Pigs]


About this release

Roadrunner Records, January 1985

Recorded at Braille/East Side Sound N.Y.C. 07/85 and mixed at Systems Two, Bklyn, N.Y. 08/85.
Printed innersleeve with lyrics and artwork included.

All songs © 1985 P. Steele.
℗ 1985 Roadrunner Records.
℗ 1985 Roadrunner Productions B.V.

Artwork – Seán Taggart*
Artwork [Carnivorous Logo / Triplagram] – P. Steele*
Engineer – Mike Marciano*
Executive-Producer – Connie Barrett
Layout [Innersleeve] – Martine Memi
Mastered By – H.C. B*
Producer, Engineer – Norman Dunn

All songs written by Peter Steele.

CD issued originally in 1990 as part of Roadracer Records's Price Killers series.
Reissued on CD in 1991 without track 5, but with most of "Retaliation" album, cat. nr. of this edition - RR 9323-2

Reissued in 2001 with new artwork and 3 bonus tracks from the "Retaliation" pre-production demo

In 2008, Metal Mind Productions reissued the album as a digipak edition which includes 3 demo tracks as a bonus. It was digitally remastered using 24-Bit process on golden disc and was limited to numerated 2000 copies.

Thanks to Time Signature, UMUR, Vim Fuego for the updates

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UMUR
"Carnivore" is the self-titled debut full-length studio album by US crossover thrash metal act Carnivore. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in January 1985. Carnivore are probably mostly known for featuring Peter Steele in the lineup, who later achieved great success with Type O Negative. Carnivore were only active for a relatively short time in the 80s but managed to release this self-titled album and "Retaliation" (1987)" (and two demos) before disbanding.

The music on "Carnivore" is aggressive hardcore punked speed/heavy metal with doom metal sections thrown in. The music features great energy and it´s raw and organic. The lyrics, and how they are delivered by lead vocalist/bassist Peter Steele, is one of the greatest assets on the album. It´s not that the lyrical topics aren´t of the usual death and destruction type (which is pretty obvious when reading song titles like "Legion of Doom", "God Is Dead", and "Thermonuclear Warrior"), but Peter Steele makes sure to deliver the lyrics with a rare biting sarcasm/humour and great punch and conviction. For example I´ll never be able to say the word "Carnivore" again and not think of oral sex...

The sound production is decent and suits the music well, even though the guitar sounds a bit thin and the drums are placed a bit high in the mix. That also goes for the vocals, but that works to great effect that they are placed as high as they are in the mix. The bass is clearly heard in the mix too, which is a very nice feature.

The material are generally well written and it didn´t take me more than a couple of listens before I could remember each track just by looking at the song title, which is a sure indicator that this is memorable and catchy music. It´s not over simplistic though and Carnivore make sure to vary their music throughout the album. Especially the doomy sections and the occasional more atmospheric part work really well within the generally more up tempo hardcore punked speed/heavy metal style. Peter Steele´s vocal style is mostly raw, shouting, and aggressive but we do get a few samples of his warm clean vocals a couple of times during the album´s playing time. They are most prominently featured in the middle section of "Male Supremacy".

There are two ways to come to "Carnivore" and how you experience the album probably depends a great deal on which way that is. For some people Carnivore was a band they listened to in the 80s and they grew up with, but for most people they probably give Carnivore a shot because they are fans of Type O Negative and are curious to know what Peter Steele did before he formed that band. If you belong to the former camp Carnivore are probably right up your alley, with their hardcore punked speed/heavy metal style with occasional doomy sections and humourous/sarcastic/provocative lyrics, while the most conservative Type O Negative fan might not find what he/she is looking for here. Sure there are hardcore punk traits in Type O Negative´s music (especially on "Slow, Deep and Hard (1991)"), but not at all to this extent.

It´s pretty obvious that already this early on in his career Peter Steele had something very special about him in terms of voice, songwriting, and sarcasm/humour, and while he would develop and refine all those features on subsequent releases with both Carnivore and Type O Negative, and "Carnivore" overall isn´t the most sophisticated or mature release that he has been involved in, it´s still a great listen and a promising start to Peter Steele´s career. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.
Vim Fuego
The twisted genius of the late, great Pete Steele is now synonymous with the tragi–romantic Gothicism of Type O Negative. However, many Type O fans are oblivious to the fact Pete was once a hardcore hero, in one of the leading bands in the New York crossover scene in the mid to late 80s.

On first listen, this is pretty raw stuff, for its day. It's a relentless pounding of percussive New York style thrash, reminiscent of Nuclear Assault and SOD, with a leaden guitar sound, double kick drum barrages, Agnostic Front style shout along choruses, and Pete's surprisingly clearly enunciated voice over it all.

Lyrically, the album is as testosterone laden and muscle headed as the music. The subject matter runs through male chauvinism, post–nuclear society where the law of the jungle rules, war, motorcycle gangs, um, war, and er… Armageddon. Much of Type O's material deals with messed up relationships. Perhaps there are a few clues as to where the inspiration for such things came from: "I detect the scent of prey by/ her menstruation/ you have been chosen the main course/ congratulations" or the delightful "Testosterone mates with adrenaline/ bearing a son of insane aggression/ women will never know or understand the power men feel to kill with their hands".

It all sounds rather bleak and sexist, and perhaps it is, but there's something that sets Carnivore apart from thrash metal bands of the time. There are melodies, musical nuances, and subtleties not immediately noticeable up first inspection. An example: In the middle of the pounding track "Male Supremacy" there is an acoustic break in the music, and suddenly Pete Steele's voice comes back in, not as a hardcore shout, but as the theatrical bass singing voice so recognisable on Type O Negative albums. It's inspirational stuff!

There are hidden melodies and hook lines throughout the album. Many of the tracks could have been heads–down, charge–for–the–finish–line type songs which fly past unnoticed, but instead the listener is drawn in to shout–along choruses and unexpected melodies. You'll find yourself chanting "Armageddon" to the chorus of the track of the same name.

Many 80s thrash and crossover bands never reached the heights Carnivore attained on just their debut, but this remains a little known treasure, when it should have been remembered as a classic, mentioned in the same breath as Nuclear Assault, Exodus, and Testament.

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