As false as Death Metal becomes so too doth it become true, or something like that. Death Metal really is quite ironically the most lively of genres right now. You’ve got nerdy guitar wizards spinning all the latest releases from The Artisan Era, along with outside bands such as Obscura and Beyond Creation. Brutal Death Metal Slammers hailing the likes of Kraanium and Epicardiectomy and to top that off Brutal Deathcore kids discovering savagery through Within Destruction and Vulvodynia. Then of course you’ve got those who are too true for all of that nonsense, these guys are obsessed with the likes of Pissgrave, Hyperdontia, Tomb Mold and many more.
Adding to that pool of foetid waste that is true Death Metal come German gore freaks Carnal Tomb. The band formed in 2014, releasing their Ascend demo in the same year, followed then by an EP and compilation in 2015 titled Inevitable Decomposition and Revived. This consistent output led to the release of the bands debut full length in 2016 Rotten Remains. Continuing to pump out music the band embarked upon the release of a 5 way split in 2017 with Anarchos, Soulrot, Ectoplasma, Rotten Hate and of course themselves. Now after a years break the band are back with their sophomore full length Abhorrent Veneration put out through Testimony Records.
The very first thing I noticed aside from the music of course was the track lengths. Carnal Tomb have really upped their game in this department, a once relatively standard band now seem to be going for the longer song approach with most tracks on the album clocking in over six minutes. Although this is trivial I know, regardless the content is none the less muddy and damning. As the haunting introduction of Putrid Fumes wafts into our ears we are met with Swedish Death Metal infused guitars, cavernous vocals and an all round plodding nature that is entertaining and catchy yet a touch atypical. The title track, Cryptic Nebula and Amid The Graves all follow the same suite, mostly blending into one.
Every now and then our interest is piqued, much like in the more melodious passages of Dissonant Incubation, along with the tracks fittingly melancholic vocals which ooze with desperation and loathing. Feeding Mold becomes a speedy Swedish Death worshipping anthem and likely one of the better tracks on the album, proof that perhaps Carnal Tomb should stick closer to the shorter songs as it appeals more to their overall style of filthy Death Metal. As the album closes with Sepulchral Descent we get one final taste of Carnal Tomb’s grotesque murky Death Metal. It is a taste that lingers for a moment but quickly fades into the halls of generic songwriting.
To sum it up Abhorrent Veneration is neither good nor bad. There are a lot of bands out there doing this sort of thing at the moment and that naturally leads to flooding. The flood gives us wave upon wave of tiresome Death Metal that whilst satisfying for a time gives us very little upon reflection. If you’re looking to delve deep into these depths then find yourself something more along the lines of Corpsessed, Phrenelith or even Of Feather And Bone. I by no means wish to defame the character of Carnal Tomb but they are simply another drop in the Death Metal ocean.
(6/10 George Caley)