Reviewed: [August 2022]
Released [2022 Hammerheart Records]
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
Sweden’s Consumption describe their second full-length as “the album Carcass never made after Necroticism – Descanting the Insalubrious.” And that’s a pretty bold statement, considering the album Carcass did make after Necroticism was 1993’s Heartwork, which set a benchmark for melodic death metal that stands to this day.
But I get where these guys are coming from. Heartwork was much sleeker and more sophisticated than Necroticism, and lacked many of its rough edges and sheer sonic weight. The same could be said about Necroticism and its huge leap from the crude choke-and-puke gore-grind of the first two Carcass albums. But Necroticism still felt like its soul was in the underground, Heartwork seemingly had loftier goals.
Which brings up back to Necrotic Lust. It’s certainly an odd ambition, to dedicate an entire album to crafting something you wish another band had done. But if you’re going to do it, best to go all in, and Consumption certainly do that here, even managing to corral Carcass bassist/frontman Jeff Walker to provide guest vocals on “Ground into Ash and Coal.” So apparently imitation, if that’s really what you can call what these guys are doing here, is indeed the highest form of flattery.
And the band largely accomplish their mission with Necrotic Lust, marrying the aggression, gnarliness and technical panache of Necroticism with the cleaner sound and melodic flourishes of Heartwork while at the same time not merely sounding like a Carcass cover band. The modus operandi is certainly much the same – grinding riffs, chunky hooks, flashy leads/sweeping guitar harmonies, churning tempos, phlegmy “dual” vocals (apparently all supplied by Stuvemark) and creepy voice-over intros (most featuring Vincent Price).
But the closest they really come to actually sounding like Carcass is, as you might imagine, when Walker joins in and delivers his signature shriek/shout vocals on the suitably pummeling “Ground into Ash and Coal.” The rest sounds more like mildly melodic/mostly brutal death metal that is inspired by Carcass. And as such, it’s pretty decent.
The songs are well-scripted and purposeful, and rarely actually give away their intent. Stuvemark, who handles guitar and bass in additional to the vocals, and drummer Jon Skäre play up a storm here and show plenty dexterity and ferocity – not to mention stamina – over the album’s nine bracing tracks, and certainly don’t skimp on the heaviness. So Necrotic Lust ends up being better than you might think it would be by not sounding exactly like what it claims to be. Or something like that.