Meat Train’s 2013 debut “Flesh Made Man” was a cool record. From the eye catching cover art to the Londoners blend of filthy, primitive death metal the album was, for me at least a breath of pungent air and the exact polar opposite of a lot of the over produced hyper tech DM available at the time. Their rumbling grinding bass and low growling vocals reminded me of Mortician and that was obviously a good thing and a step back to when DM was a bit more sinister. The album was far from perfect but showed a lot of potential and that potential is being realised in good & gory fashion on their 2nd album “Random Acts Of Carnage”.
The first thing you’ll notice if you’re familiar with the band’s debut is the production which is leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessor. This has fattened up the band’s sound no end and like putting a knife edge to a grinding wheel, has made them a more efficient killing machine. The rumble and grind is still there, as is the heavy barbed riffage and strangle wire leads but a lot of the murk has gone. This hasn’t hampered the atmosphere Meat Train conjures in their songs which is still that of a very British splatter movie. Think “Mum & Dad” instead of “Cannibal Ferox”.
Kicking off with the title track with its mongy chugging riff and chanting vocals we’re thrust into a grim vortex of death metal malevolence which doesn’t let up for the next ten tracks, most of which are sub 4 minute blasts of nastiness. “Handle With Caer” begins with a newsfeed sample leading into another beautifully simple riff “Eat Or Be Eaten” is 1m53s of no-nonsense ferocity and mayhem and “Redneck Zombies” shows the dark humour the band are known for with its daft banjo bits.
Album closer “Block 11” is a change of pace with its moody piano intro and more epic feel. This is the stand out track on the album which demonstrates a real maturity to Meat Train’s song writing. The band have done a particularly disturbing video for this song which you can find on their FB page. Worth a look.
This is a good album and a far better record than their debut. Thoroughly recommended if you like fellow Londoners Basement Torture Killings and brutal death metal in general.
(8/10 Mark Eve)