Carnivore – Carnivore Reissue (Metalville/Roadrunner Archive)

Sunday, 16th July 2017
Rating: 8/10

Jeff Wagner’s 2014 Soul on Fire tome cast an all-encompassing light on Peter Steele, a man whose towering presence still looms large today. As frontman for Type O Negative, Steele became a sex symbol for the ’90s Goth generation, all the while releasing a string of lush, adventurous albums that catapulted the band to near-mainstream success. Prior to Type O, however, Steele fronted groundbreaking neo-hardcore/crossover metal bashers Carnivore. The band’s impact has remained somewhat steady since Steele’s passing in 2010, but this reissue by way of Metalville certainly can only help the cause.

Re-mastered and expanded with three bonus demo tracks, Carnivore was originally released in 1985 by Greenworld Records. Unsuspecting Type O fans (and there were plenty when the band’s profile skyrocketed after 1993’s Bloody Kisses) were no doubt bemused at the harshness of Carnivore. The songs, while relatively straightforward, did offer the occasional glimpse at what was to come in Type O, namely “Male Supremacy,” a song that features Steele’s now-trademark Goth croon. Aside from that, these tunes are largely rollicking, almost belligerent to a degree. Steele’s pointed bark is rather ferocious at times on “God is Dead,” which again, offers small glimpses at what lied ahead several years later. Album closer “World Wars III & IV” remains as striking as ever, a ten-minute bout of searing, tumbling thrash.

Carnivore’s catalog, much like Type O’s, has shown little signs of wear-and-tear. It could be argued that given the brevity in which many current noise-laden extreme metal bands get down, Carnivore could be doing the same thing today. Nevertheless, a worthy reissue all around. Well over three decades after the fact, Carnivore’s unbridled rage still mows ‘em down.