Among the many thrills that serious fans of heavy music can experience, if we’re lucky, is to be seized by the music of a new band at their inception and then watch as they progress from strength to further strength with each new release. That has certainly been the case with the black/death band Carcinoma from Plymouth, UK.
They made their debut with a self-titled demo in 2015, about which we wrote here: “The music is hard to pin down, which is one reason it is so interesting. In part it’s ugly, grinding, tearing noise, the kind of rancid death metal that wants to cut the legs out from under you and then put the remains through a meat tenderizer. In part it’s pounding, bleak, sludgy doom. In part it’s a tornado of black thrashing mayhem. And in part it’s a transmission of disorienting signals from space (or an interdimensional void, take your pick). However you want to sum it up, it’s full of venom and fury, and like a pit of vipers with you teetering on the edge, it gets the adrenaline flowing.”
And then came Apanthropinization, their 2018 split with Abyssal, released by Goatprayer Records. On that album-length record (reviewed here), they contributed four truly harrowing tracks, braiding together strands of black, death, and doom metal to achieve sensations of fracturing sanity and apocalyptic destructiveness. Dissonance reigned supreme, fueling the music’s atmosphere of murderous, inhuman lunacy. Chaos also reigned supreme, although Carcinoma wisely chose not to make their four songs simply 20 minutes of non-stop nuclear vulcanism.
And now we’re delighted to announce that Carcinoma will be releasing a debut album named Labascation on February 5, 2021, from which we’re presenting a track called “Bloated Parasites”. It’s evidence that as powerfully good as Carcinoma’s past releases have been, the new one will be the best yet.
“Bloated Parasites” proves to be ruinously savage, brutally destructive, and emotionally devastating. With just one solitary bass twang as the only warning, it explodes in a truly breathtaking assault of high-speed, typhoon-strength riffing, thunderous drumming, and raw, howling vocal madness. The band punctuate this obliterating sonic cyclone with catastrophic, skull-clubbing detonations, and they infiltrate episodes of crushing death-blows and horrifying roars that well up from abyssal pits. In those slower passages they stomp with iron-shod boots across a plain of bones and, in resuming their maniacal frenzies they let loose frightening torrents of dissonant, swarming guitar and braying chords.
In its trudging and crawling finale the music grows ever more oppressive, plundering souls and groaning in agony. The misery and despair in the music is unmistakable, and its grief-stricken radiations are as moving as they are crushing. The song fades out in dismal wailing reverberations that leave all hope in tatters.
The band explain: “Labascation is a musical reflection of the human mind and the war it wages against itself within the trials presented by existence. Woven deeply in themes of hatred, rage, fear, dying, death, loss, misery, hopelessness, worthlessness and the desire to escape from it all through an honest representation of emotive catharsis as a means of survival”.
The record was mixed and mastered by Greg Chandler at Priory Recording Studios, and features unforgettable artwork by Karmazid, with logo and layout by SeventhBell Artwork. It will be presented on LP by Rat King Records. More details, designs and merch will be unveiled in due time.
Metal is in such a great place in some ways, 50 years in. One can reference this release by at least five landmark underground bands, and say, this sort of sounds like… I can hear strong threads of …. Yet it also sounds different and unique compared to every single one of them. Just to pluck one out, it sort of sounds like Vassafor, but is also very different. Even within dissonant filthy, hardcore influenced black-tinged death metal like this, it’s both comfortingly familiar while also really unique. Yes, there is a lot of metal out there that’s just cloning and aping, but also a lot that’s edging into stuff that to my ears at least, sounds really new. This is a really exciting release, another band to add to the list that doesn’t quite sound like anything else.
This album is incredible front to back. I’m just blown away.