Carnal Tomb [Germany]
Here we are, after months of teasing by German death metal outfit, Carnal Tomb with their debut release, Ascend. With the gore and filth-infused aesthetics, the band does nothing to hide their Swedish influences, and this goes beyond just the visual aspects, as they prove their musical prowess on Ascend as well.
The HM-2 tone of Cryptic Tormentor hits the listener hard right from opening track Vast Crypts, and the influences from Swedish pioneers such as Dismember and Grave are undeniable. From the riffs and lead guitar lines of guitarist Cryptic Tormentor to the programmed drums on the record, one is constantly immersed in quality Swedish death metal, with the band at times even bringing in some slight Autopsy touches to their sound.
At the same time, there is that Finnish element to the style of Carnal Tomb as well, and with the deep growls of Corpse Ripper (who bears quite a striking resemblance to that of Dave Rotten) and the slower moments on Ascend, one is easily reminded of the output of bands such as Rottrevore, Christ Denied or Putrevore. Unfortunately, the bass could have been placed higher in the mix to leave a deeper impact on the listener.
Rather than simply fitting into a particular template that so many Swedish death metal bands of late have done, Carnal Tomb also displays some complexity in their songwriting. For instance, Dormant Cadavers sounds like one of the more complex tracks on the album, making it one of the most sinister tracks on the release as well.
Spoken samples are aplenty as well, present on all tracks except closer Burial Rites (which instead utilises a lone, ominous clean guitar), often used in setting the tone for the release. The production on Ascend also certainly help in adding that abrasive dimension to the release, making things sound all the more crushing and oppressive. What Carnal Tomb has managed to done on Ascend is to take your standard Swedish death metal, turn it up a couple of notches in the heaviness and aggression department, leaving one craving for more the moment this short 4-track release ends.