Review: Carnal Decay – When Push Comes To Shove

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Carnal Decay are a Switzerland-based band that describes themselves as slamming brutal death metal. They have previously released four full length albums and have gained a great reputation on the International live circuit. Their latest offering is a 3 song 70-inch LP called ‘Carnal Decay’, which is a short and sweet which encases exactly what the band can do. They list their influences as bands such as Dying Fetus, Suffocation, Ingested, Gorgasm, Hatebreed and Vulvodynia, and these influences are subtly clear in the bands sound; though a deathcore/hardcore influence also becomes very apparent.

The first song is the title track, When Push Comes To Shove.  The song immediately has a very deep and heavy feel, almost crushing with a good slamming tempo. The drums feature the ubiquitous blast beats, but with a more driven sound instead of the usual breakneck speed. The vocals of Michael Kern are your standard guttural death metal growls,  but they are not shouted or screamed. The guitar riffs, courtesy of Isabelle Iten, are simple but effective with a strong melody but devoid of strong riffs or solos. It is clear there is no thrash or speed element. The sound is laden with heavy grooves with a very aggressive edge. Overall very catchy and immediately grabs the listeners attention.

Next up we have Food For Thought. This song kicks it up a notch on all fronts. A bit heavier, a bit faster, a bit more complex guitar playing and very catchy. The Core influences shine more strongly on this track. The bands ‘signature sound’ is still very apparent. The bass work of Nasar Skripitskij provides a strong back bone and something g s little different to mix it up. A highlight is the vocals. Igor Fil of Katalepsy guests on this track, and the different tone is refreshing. Once again the melodies and composition are simple, but they work well. 

The last song on the EP is We All Bleed. This song has more of that death metal edge and kicks up the brutality a notch. Kerns vocals go into deep scream territory to great effect, and the drums really kick up that head banging feel with drummer Sebastin Mantel really showing his skill. This track has an aggressive edge that makes it stand out and my bet is that it would be great to see performed live. The groove element from the previous tracks is still there and somehow works well with the more heavy elements.  

In the end, this EP is a showcase of what the band is and what they do. Each song has the bands signature sound, but with a different take and new elements woven through. The composition and melodies are simple but played expertly, and are very catchy. ‘Carnal Decay’ would be interesting to see in a live setting with audience feedback, as a lot of the various parts feel they should illicit a response.   The EP feels to short, like it is a teaser for something larger. You just start to really get drawn into the songs and then it is all over. For a band that has had four previous albums to showcase themselves, it is a little confusing. Overall though, this is a good little three song showcase of hardcore/deathcore/slam influenced death metal that will brighten up any playlist. 

Pre-order the ‘When Push Comes To Shove’ out July 20 HERE