Carnal Savagery – Worm Eaten Review

I’ve enjoyed my share of nasty, greasy death metal this year, and in the preceding 11 months when genre favorites like doom have been poorly represented, it’s been death that kept reliably turning my crank. As we enter the dreaded dead zone of November and December when promos are scant and generally sub-par, I hedged my bets by hoarding as much death as I could cram into my iron sump skimmer of bestial inwasion. One of the death nuggets stuffed unceremoniously in the junk truck was Carnal Savagery’s fourth full-length, Worm Eaten.1 Hailing from Sweden, this gruesome twosome walk a respectable line between the expected Swedeath sounds and more brutish American acts like Deicide and Obituary with a whiff of slower, uglier stuff like Just Before Dawn. This ups the heaviness quotient and my interest level, and over the course of the album’s 35 minutes, they opt for basic, simplistic pummeling on short and sweet death appetizers. This is the kind of act that knows exactly who and what they are and care little for trends. This is knuckle-scraping death for those with scraped knuckles and few others need apply. Now, show me your fookin’ knuckles, Skippy!

With a song called “Masticating Maggots” in the leadoff spot, you know what you’re in for toot sweet. In this case, it’s mid-tempo, extra heavy, grinding death with a real sense of weight and a Bolt Thrower-esque gleam to the bigger-than-Jesus riffs. There are also some noticeable Slayer vibes to sweeten the deal further. It’s an above-average slice of savagery and it got moved to my deadlift playlist before a minute had expired and there it will live forevermore. If this quality level was maintained over the album’s runtime, we’d be talking Holdeneyelevels of disgusting fanboying and clownish overrating. Sadly, things are a bit uneven as Worm Eaten decays into meat mulch. “Baptized in Mutilated Innards” has an awkwardly upbeat, good-timey swagger as they scream about mutilated innards and while it isn’t quite bad, I don’t quite love it. Good things do await though, with “Edible Cranium” delivering a crushing mid-tempo steamroller to squish you flat. The riff that arrives at 1:56 is a thing of horrid beauty and I want a whole album of this stuff.

Other solid moments include the punchy and aggressive thrust of “Disemboweled” which showcases some above-average riffcraft, while the uber dumb but weighty “Return of the Rotten Dead” thrills with something like the early Denial Fiend material. The title track is also quite satisfying due to its monolithic and plodding ugliness. The remainder of Worm Eaten is a largely respectable mixture of classic Swedeath (“Revel in Madness”) and heavier, slower fare (“Inhuman Sacrifice”). Taken as a whole the album is an easy spin and gives you all the caveman beef and blood pudding you need, even if not every song is a world eater. I appreciate the guitar tone with its heft and edge, and the master by none other than Dan “the fucking MAN” Swanö is predictably tasty. I also enjoy the brevity of the songs, with most sitting in the 3-minute window so the less stunning numbers are moved along before causing tumult. This helps make the package a mindlessly frantic and entertaining spin.

Mikael Lindgren more than holds up his end of things with a quality collection of riffs that are generally above average and occasionally excellent. He fuses Swedeath tropes with nods to the American shores, thereby keeping the material from sounding like the 500th redo of Left Hand Path. He also does a respectable job with bass and drums, so he more than earned his beer money here. Mattias Lilja has a bit of L.G. Petrov in his delivery but skews heavier and more guttural at times, which I like. The duo is more than competent and they have a good grasp on what works and what doesn’t within their chosen genre.

There’s sufficient quality here and sometimes the songs really catch fire. I may wish things were a bit more consistent, but I can’t be overly negative since the album is nasty, brutish, and short (read as: entertaining). Definitely not a lister and Carnal Savagery won’t be converting nonbelievers into rancid dead heads, but this is the kind of meat n’ scab taters death platter you can sink your teeth into and revel in the stupidity. Recommended for those with pronounced knuckle calluses only.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: Moribund Records
Websites: |
Releases Worldwide: November 25th, 2022

Show 1 footnote

  1. They just released their third full-length this April, so apparently the creative juices are running like an everflowing stream.
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