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Label: Testimony Records/Sure Shot Worx / Release date: 3rd November 2023
Carnal Tomb is hailing from German capital Berlin. The band was founded almost ten years ago with an idea to play the sort of metal they like the most; old-school death metal. Currently, the band’s line-up consists of Marc Strobel (Guitars & Vocals), Toni Thomas (Guitars), Daniel Sturm (Drums) and Mustafa Kaya (Bass). In 2016 this hard-hitting German quartet released their debut album entitled Rotten Remains. Abhorrent Veneration then followed in 2019. Now, with Embalmed in Decay, the third full-length album has been released by Testimony Records. It contains nine tracks of uncompromising and honestly brutal old-school death metal.
The album title Embalmed in Decay as well as the track “The Putridarum” are inspired by a chilling funeral practice particularly ‘popular’ in Southern Italy from late medieval until early modern times; the corpses of the deceased were placed into so called ‘putredariums’ where they were left to rot until nothing remained except the bones, which were brought to an ossuary as their final resting place. This procedure was symbolising a state of purgatory that the dead had to go through.
On Embalmed in Decay the four-piece has shaped the lyrical content, and with clever song-writing in general, in the original mould of death metal lyrics including the works of H.P. Lovecraft as well as gore and zombie movies.
The album opens with a short piano-based sinister “Intro”, (main intro parts delivered by Leonhard Link from Putrescine and Speedwhore bands), then followed by the aforementioned “The Putridaroium”. On this first actual track the guys performs their trademark old-school death metal, successfully mixing the elements and influences from both Scandianavian (mainly Swedish) and American death metal. Next track is called “Cataclysmic Maze” with probably the best song-writing to date, and when paired with a dark and atmospheric intro, it works just fantastic. After the intial intro it explodes into the real sonic assault mainly created by hammering drums and a nuanced solo.
The only weak point of this album is the next track “Defiled Flesh”, mainly due to this weird guitar line that keeps appearing during the entire song. On the other hand, “Draped in Disgust” is obviouusly another song with an aggressive sound, yet with a moderate pace. Interesting fact about this song is the appearance of a guest musician – Serkan Niron (Engulfed) where he delivers additional vocals, that I’m a ig fan of. Now, things gets even faster with the very straight-forward number “Celebral Ingestion”. “Morgue Usurper” is a bit morbid and gloomy track, while “Embalmed in Decay” is a self-titled monster track that comes with fast and furious heavy riffing and a catchy melody in the chorus. “Eyes of the Chasm”, the longest song here, serves as a perfect and accomplished closure for the album, being heavy, fast and yet varied song.
With the putrid death metal horror of Embalmed in Decay, Carnal Tomb raise the blind dead from their tombs and unleash these monsters and other brutal evils upon an unsuspecting world. Thus, this convincing third opus from Berlin-based Carnal Tomb is now available in the record stores and you should not hesitate to give it a try. Esp. recommendation for fans of Grave, Cannibal Corpse, Unleashed, Autopsy, Entombed, Pestilence, Obituary and similar old-school death metal acts.
For additional information go to https://carnaltomb.bandcamp.com/album/embalmed-in-decay