St. Paul, Minnesot'as True Metal Record Store (RIP as of Dec. 24, 2015)
New plan for today: push back from grandma’s table, grab a turkey leg and strap on your furry codpiece for a non-football post-dinner skirmish known as CARNIVORE. Find yourself immersed in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where confused violence reigns and once again men are MEN. Or at least, one of the men was the late Peter Steele, the Playgirl penis-bearing crooner-poet of TYPE O NEGATIVE infamy.
If one had only heard TYPE O NEGATIVE from the breakout Bloody Kisses onward, it would likely be somewhat remarkable to discover the heathen barbarism that is CARNIVORE’s 1985 debut self-titled album sprang from the same mind. After a little reflection though, one begins to see how the enigmatic Peter Steele found his way from slayer to lady slayer by straddling the line of self-deprecation and self-aggrandizement, all seasoned by his formidable blackened humor.
To my ears anyway, CARNIVORE has an astonishingly well-developed identity for 1985. While other bands were still wresting themselves from JUDAS PRIEST and other NWOBHM influence, what we have in Carnivore is a hearty stew of VENOM-like mischief with SABBATHy big riffs and an unblemished hardcore attitude (developed more fully on their second album, Retaliation). Mr. Steele’s commanding bellows, tongue planted firmly in his cheek (or is it?), help round out the experience of being at one’s wits end in a world we’ve annihilated through our own hubris and lust.
Thankfully, as with many albums, this was put out by Roadrunner Records waaay back in the day, so though it’s a bit of a find in the US it’s still available in many formats at many vendors. The second album is much more plentiful, and of course TYPE O NEGATIVE’s catalog is still basically intact — I recommend the classic TYPE-O debut (and “lost” third CARNIVORE album), Slow, Deep and Hard, for a detailed look into Peter Steele’s ultimate transformation from alpha male predator to brooding goth-girl icon.
CRUSH KILL DESTROY — Cheers!
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