‘Carnival of Killers’
Nuclear Blast Records
FFO: Impetigo, Necrophagia, Birdflesh, Agathocles, Repulsion
It would be interesting to see the evolution of death metal without the influence of Macabre. The Illinois band’s tongue in cheek dark humour coupled with music that touches upon thrash, grindcore and death has never really granted them mainstream success, but they have developed a fanatical cult following. After an absence of nearly a decade, Macabre are back with their latest album ‘Carnival of Killers’.
If you are expecting Macabre to change what they are do and deliver a serious album, you will be sorely mistaken. Macabre do one thing and they do it bloody well. Therefore, what the listener gets here are individual songs with each one being dedicated to a different serial killer that range from blistering grind to commercial style ditties. In this respect, it is interesting to see how Macabre present ‘Carnival of Killers’, it is in essence, quite unconventional; but then again, when have Macabre ever followed convention? For a Nuclear Blast release, the production on this album isn’t the best that the listener will hear all year, in fact, it seems raw and barely finished, but it does oddly play into the overall aesthetical finish that Macabre are attempting to achieve. Tracks such as ‘Stinky’, ‘Wheels on the Bug’ and ‘Them Dry Bones’ thrive in this environment with their nursery rhyme, come commercial delivery giving a very familiar feel to the whole thing; couple this with their easy to follow serial killer lyrics and it is nigh on impossible to not sing along to and enjoy. This is a rather double-edged sword in a way, the lyrics are almost so inanely daft and bad that it goes beyond this and enters the realms of a stroke of genius.
If 2020 needs one thing, it is the return of Macabre because my god, ‘Carnival of Killers’ puts a big fat smile on your face. If you are wanting something serious, then this album isn’t for you; but if you want some ‘light-hearted’, amusing and also metal as fuck then get a copy of ‘Carnival of Killers’. There isn’t anything here that Macabre haven’t really done before, but crank it up loud and if you’re not grinning like the Cheshire Cat that’s just used its owners eviscerated entrails as a litter tray then you’re dead inside.