Carnal Savagery
Worm Eaten

Carnal Savagery is a Swedish death metal band with ties to Cromlech, who like fellow Swedes Entrails and In Pain, were knocking around in the early 90s but never really got truly going other than a few demos . After Cromlech, some members went on to form short-lived but solid melodic death metal acts Divine Souls, who released two albums from 2001-2002. ( I vaguely recall reviewing 2002s The Bitter Self-Caged Man for Digitalmetal.com back in the day)

Well, they have circled back to Swedish HM2-styled death metal with Carnal Savagery and have released album number 4 since 2017, with Worm Eaten and it continues their run of solid, enjoyable if unspectacular albums in the genre.

Like the members’ attempt at In Flames cloneage with Divine Souls, Carnal Savagery is also heavily rooted in other bands, namely the Swedish legends of yore. Worm Eaten is chock full of Dismember/Grave/Entombed-influenced goodness, with some more than palpable nods to Entombed and Dismember’s seminal debuts, Left Hand Path and Like an Ever Flowing Stream. 

Worm-Eaten isn’t going to change the genre or compete with the likes of Necom or In Pain as the year’s best in the genre, but it does have some cool, near-killer moments here and there. The production has the expected Stockholm, HM2 buzz and Dan Swanos master gives it plenty of mid-range heft and vocalist Mattias Lilja has a more midrange rasp (as he used with Divine Souls, though not quite as high-pitched here).

The songs are generally mid-paced lumberers like “Masticating Maggots”, the Autopsy reek of “Baptized In Mutilated Innards”, killer stomp of “Edible”, or “Perpetual Suffering”. Then toss in a few faster songs like “Revel in Madness” and all the bases of the genre are covered.

And the band isn’t shy about their influences on tracks like “Disembodied”, which uses the opening throes of Dismember’s “Dismembered” to start. Or “Perpetual Suffering” which has a “Casket Garden”-like riff, or the “Soon to be Dead” hues of “Miasma of Putrid Decay”. And for the closing outro “Evil Incarnate”, there is more than a subtle nod to “In Death’s Sleep”, that’s hard to miss. And the not so subtly named “Revel in Madness” even has a similar classic canter to its famous  Entombed namesake.

And that ends up being the minor problem with  Carnal Savagery (and has been for their discography); Where Divine Souls were a shameless In Flames rip-off,  Carnal Savagery often comes across as little more than a good Dismember/Entombed clone and dangerously close to a cover band. Itself, not a bad thing at all, but in a year that saw releases from In Pain, Entrails, Demonical, Disfuneral, Iron Flesh, Katakomba, Ripped to Shreds and such, Worm Eaten wasn’t quite up there in the top tier albums of the style for 2022.

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
January 6th, 2023

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