Dead Carnage – From Hell for Hate Review

Some things seem to be just one tweak away from being great. Dead Carnage is an okay band name, but it seems a bit redundant. Isn’t most carnage dead? Better, I think, would be Live Carnage. The image of butchered and bloody bodies, moaning and clinging to their last vestiges of life, seems a lot more brutal to me than any imagery evoked by “Dead Carnage.” But hey, I’m a guy that listens to Goatpenis—a band’s moniker has never stopped me from checking out an album before. Thus, with no prior knowledge of this Czech death metal quintet, I decided to roll up my sleeves and dig right into their second album From Hell for Hate.

It turns out that while one tweak could potentially improve the band’s name, it would take an awful lot more than that to improve their music. From Hell for Hate is filled with the sort of milquetoast death metal that we all know exists but often forget about because—well, because of how forgettable it is. Big grooves and fat chugs are almost nowhere to be found on Hell, with the album instead spending nearly its entire runtime charging forward at almost the exact same tempo. As is apparent right from opener “Edges of Manipulation” and second track “Devastation,” the rhythms across these nine songs are both basic and unwavering, which in a way makes Hell feel more like a crust punk album than a death metal one. Likewise, the vocalist offers little more than a frothy, unintelligible, and off-the-shelf growl that has both no character and no change in delivery.

This leaves only the guitars to add diversity to the album, but they do little to add anything of intrigue. Many of these tracks, particularly in the album’s first half, do little more than shuffle around beefy chords in a way that sounds like the dullest material of Asphyx. As such one really has to dig deep into the carcass to find anything savory, though it turns out a few decent morsels are present for those who don’t mind getting their hands dirty. “My Blood Is Black” initially proves more interesting than the preceding songs with a decent groove that almost reminded me of Power Trip gone death metal (though not as good as that comparison would suggest). “God’s Lobotomy” and “Chapel of Decay” add further intrigue with some Swedeath-ish tremolo phrases, while late highlight “From Dust” serves as the album’s strongest cut with its militant chugs that recall Just Before Dawn.

These tracks aren’t bad but I still wouldn’t classify any of them as “good,” and their lack of quality becomes immediately apparent when the closing cover of Hierophant’s “Eternal Void” arrives. I’ve always considered Hierophant to be a pretty average band.1 Yet here, “Void” easily outshines the other songs, with its immense rhythms and riffs being far more noteworthy than anything else to be found across these 35 minutes. Fortunately the production is better than the music, with a meaty yet clean guitar tone that feels like an overpowered bone saw carving into your skull. The modern sound and crisp drums are a nice touch as well, but unfortunately everything is pretty damn loud and as such it’d be hard to call the production anything more than passable (which, admittedly, is still better than most of the music here).

I hate beating up on underground bands, but when the music is this bland it’s hard to think of anything nice to say. Even with the members bringing experience from other Czechian groups like Antigod2 and Disfigured Corpse, Dead Carnage’s work on From Hell for Hate is simply vastly inferior to the majority of death metal out there today. Rather than give it a try, I’d suggest just leaving this carnage rotting where you found it.

Rating: 1.5/5.0
DR: 4 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Immortal Souls Productions
Websites: |
Releases Worldwide: June 25th, 2020

Show 2 footnotes

  1. As did Grymm when he reviewed their last album.
  2. Which is a pretty great name, I might add.
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