Released: 2015, Final Gate Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Ever since discovering Metal bands like speed metallers WARHEAD, chaotic and insane thrashers BLACK SHEPHERD , or Crust Punkers HIATUS, I've decided to keep an eye out on bands that hail from Belgium, since I admire that raw, "we don't give a fuck" attitude found in the music created by said bands. When I happened upon the music of CARNATION one of the recurring things I kept reading was the term "old school Death Metal". So I already had built expectations and was hoping to listen to a Belgian band that had the thrashy hardcore leanings of MASTER or BENEDICTION. Unfortunately, that was not the case. And while Cemetery Of The Insane does have some old school Death Metal moments, I'm afraid they use too many slam metal riffs and too many funk beats for my taste. Maybe it does fall into the old school Death Metal category, if you take into account that it's been a while since 1996; but if you're expecting something along the lines of OBITUARY,CANCER, AUTOPSY, Scream Bloody Gore-era DEATH or MASSACRE, then I'm afraid you will be disappointed.
What I did find on CARNATION's Cemetery Of The Insane, though, was a lot of Sweadish Death Metal stylings within a more Modern Metal technical framework. About the closest thing to old school Death Metal here would be the track "Rituals of Flesh", and that's because the intro borrows from that MASTER classic known as "Pay To Die". Also, there's parts in it where the band use that classic d-beat drum pattern as modified by Paul Speckmann and co. amidst the Melodic Death Metal stuff. "Delusions of Power" borrows a riff from the song "Hole In The Head" by AUTOPSY. Let it be said that these borrowed sections are brief, thrown in here and there amidst the Sweadish Death Metal techniques employed by the band.
The rest of the album, however, never really conjures up a feeling of old school Death Metal in me. In fact, the title track has an intro riff that would fit seamlessly into any INFLAMES album.
on the other hand. Opener "Explosive Cadavers" starts off with a keyboard on top of the rest of the instruments, leading up to a PANTERA-style guitar riff, which again kinda makes the listener question that whole "we play old school Death Metal" thing.
In the end, Cemetery Of The Insane is not a bad record, but CARNATION's music just doesn't feel old school to me. The few "old school" moments I found were more like references to old school bands, and I am afraid that is just not enough. However, if you can't get enough of Sweadish Death Metal, you might want to give it a go, although be warned that DISMEMBER this is not.