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Released: 2012, Indie
Due to the overwhelming amount of material we get asked to review, for the most part we don’t review demos. Sometimes I wish we could review every demo we get! For me, the lowest (if that is the right term) I will go is a bands, debut independent EP. Rehearsal tapes, split 7 inches, demos or two poorly recorded songs on a CD-R with the bands name written in black felt (and spelled wrong) does not cut it for me. However, once in a while a sincere, hard-working band will contact us and send along a demo that is worth mentioning and Carnal Agony is one of those few, rare exceptions.
This new quintet from Sweden have recorded a four-song, 13 minute long, self-titled demo. The cover art is pretty cool, the classic Death Metal style logo/font is appealing and the sound for a demo is acceptable. I think the vocals are a bit too far back in the mix, but the guitar tone is decent. The individual performances of the five guys are also quite good. The lyrics are also not bad but perhaps not what you might expect. With a name like Carnal Agony I expected to hear Death Metal. The band actually plays a interesting blend of Thrash and Power Metal. The lyrics also fall in both camps, fiction based (Power) but they have a message (Thrash) without bring preachy. The vocals of David Johagen are throaty and delivered in the lower registers. He has a decent voice, that reminds me a bit in tone of David Brockie, especially when Oderus does that whole talk-sing style he loves.
The pace of the album is quick except for track three ‘Secrets Within The Shrine’ with has more of a one-two chugging groove to it. The blend of styles is quite good but it is quite common for many brand new bands to try several different types of writing styles and playing styles until they settle on their own signature sound. This process often takes a few years with several members coming and going along the way for a band to truly refine its sound.
These four decent songs are a good indicator of the potential of Carnal Agony to go on to a bigger career. For demo hunters and collectors this is worth a listen.
1. Rebels Lament
2. Sleep Waker
3. Secrets Within the Shrine
4. Carnal Agony
David Johagen Vocals
Mathias Wallin Guitar
Robert Hedlund Guitar
Marcus Nygren Bass
Roger Andersson Drums
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