Grinding, slicing, dicing, shredding…
-- Carrion --
|■||Sven Van Severen||Vocals|
|■||Mathieu Vander Vennet||Guitars|
|■||Jan Van Den Berghe||Bass|
|■||Frederic De Schepper||Guitars|
Review written by Stijn “Metal Shredder” Daneels.
[METAL SHREDDER REPORTING]
Carrion is a band that I’ve been following since 2015, the same year I started up Belgian Metal Shredder and looking back, they were one of the main bands whose musicianship motivated me to begin this journey at all. Over the years I’ve seen the band perform at least once a year (minus the 2 main COVID19 years of course) and I’ve been keeping in touch with the band on a personal level as well, especially with guitarist and founding member Mathieu.
Last year he told me Carrion was working on their third full-length and recently both their record label and the band members themselves invited me to check out their new material. Does it improve on their enjoyable 2018 “Time To Suffer” release (read my review of that record here: https://www.belgianmetalshredder.be/reviews/82)? Let’s find out!
“Morbid Nailgun Necropsy” is the third album from the Belgian death metal act Carrion and is released via the Italian record label Wormhole Death. It kicks off with the vicious screams of “Eradication,” a rather slow tune that beautifully builds up towards Carrion’s signature chainsaw riffs, blast beats and throat-ripping vocals, there are a few slowdowns wherein the guitars and vocals in particular get some serious time to shine.
A good opening track overall which creates enough momentum for the band to move on to “Nematodes” a tune that instantly got me hooked thanks to the galloping opening beats that smoothly transition into some badass grinding riffs. I also felt an intense bass coursing through this song (particularly during the slower sections) which gave the song an excellent thickness. This song was also one of the more grindcore-oriented tunes on this release mainly in part thanks to the coarse vocals but the awesome guitar solo near the song’s ending does give this tune an additional bit of personality.
After a short dark ambient section the band slam themselves (and you too, for that matter) into the “Morbid Nailgun Necropsy” title track. Just like the previous one, it’s a blend between the dirtiness of grind with the beauty of melody and it’s a an even more intense tune than the one before it. I’m certain that there will be quite some moshing when Carrion unleash this particular tune to the crowd. After the frenzy that was the title track, Carrion brings in some cooldown with some peaceful, clean melodies in the follow-up “Genetic Alternation.” Not for longer, mind you, since the band then returns to their usual stuff but with that same peaceful interlude returning in the middle part of the track.
The album’s fifth track “Gingeritis” shows a more deathcore side to Carrion especially during the song’s middle part wherein the band goes for a little breakdown, not much else to mention here, so let’s go to the next tune “Cofagrigus.” This one’s a chaotic track that features Carrion doing their usual stuff, it’s not all that memorable a song but it does do its job as a solid mid-album tune.
Next up is “Mental Vortex,” which has a similar opening to “Genetic Alternation” in other words, dark and foreboding ambient beginning before the band starts blasting again. But for my money, this is a better tune than “Genetic Alternation,” the transition from the slow, atmospheric start towards the fast beats is doing even better here and even such, the band further builds up the tension within this track until they go full throttle during the song’s mid-section and then gradually cooling down as the track reaches its end.
The album’s penultimate track is called “Abaddon’s Pit” and is the shortest and most death metal oriented track on this release in which I particularly noticed the symmetry between Sven’s vocal deliveries and Nico’s drum rhythms. The final track on “Morbid Nailgun Necropsy” is “Forced Into Depravity” and is a definite highlight track on this full-length. It features beautifully extreme melodies, grinding vocals and beats, sharp bass, sweet guitar solo work and more. It’s pretty much the quintessential Carrion song and a perfect ending to a great album.
I recall back when I was writing my review of “Time To Suffer,” that there was still something missing within Carrion, that some things of their sound still weren’t up to their full potential and now that I’m older and (hopefully) wiser and (definitely) more experienced, I can now determine what Carrion’s sound felt missing back then that is present now in this new full-length.
It’s two things actually, first and foremost, “Morbid Nailgun Necropsy” has a much better production which makes Carrion’s sound on record feel just as impactful as it is live. Second, the band’s pacing has improved as well. Carrion has always been known for frequently changing the tempo and delivery within their songs (sometimes focusing on speed and grind while at other times focusing on melody and impact) but in this new album, they’ve further perfected this. The aforementioned changes are now better timed and therefore feel more impactful and unpredictable and thus making the Carrion whole package feel tighter and more engaging than ever before. Is there anything that I think could still be improved within Carrion, not much actually, but I wouldn’t mind having just a bit more melody and some additional guitar solo work.
Carrion’s “Morbid Nailgun Necropsy” once again features a ginger-haired man as the artwork’s main character. This time dressed up as a Leatherface-esque surgeon/construction worker inserting totally sterile nails into his patient’s cut-open chest. While the artwork itself could be considered gruesome by its mere description, the whole art has a colorful, comic book feel to it that makes the gory imagery feel a bit campy. It reminds me of the artwork of another top tier Belgian death metal act called Serial Butcher whose artwork also features gory images of human butchery, torture and vivisection but also presented in a colorful and almost cartoony way thus making it more funny than scary.
[SHARPEST SHREDS & BLUNTEST BLADES]
The title track of “Morbid Nailgun Necropsy” is a definite favorite for me. The song is such a successful marriage of modern death metal and grindcore that, as would expect in these two subgenres were a couple, would lead to a short wedding ceremony followed by a night of intense sexual intercourse. Other favorites of mine include the opening tracks “Eradication” and “Nematodes” as well as the album’s finale “Forced Into Depravity.”
My less favorite tracks are mainly “Gingeritis” and “Cofagrigus” for neither of those two tracks suck with me just as much as several of the other songs on “Morbid Nailgun Necropsy” and believe Carrion was aware of that since they’ve but both tracks in the album’s middle while keeping their strongest songs at the beginning and end. Starting strong and finishing even stronger, I like that! A lot!
8,5 Leatherfaced gingers out of 10. With this new album, Carrion has managed to further perfect their already well-cooked blend of American-styled death and grind metal. Add to that the significantly beefier production and I can confidently say that “Morbid Nailgun Necropsy” stands as Carrion’s magnum opus, for the time being.