A slow proliferation of cancerous meat that’d crawl from diarrhea prone bowels through the spine ’til death, or septicemic expulse, represents corporeal ruin by way of sheer ignorance and neglect. To know your health has long been in ruin only to find out a deep-rooted, and previously treatable, internal plague has persisted for years until too late is just one shard of the wrathful devastation that cancerous death brings. Melbourne, Australia’s ‘primitive’ old school death metal scene deserves such devastation in mind and Carcinoid is fitting as a too-real description of the plague they carry overseas, an unseemly bowel-ripping mass that no reaches for stage four in its fatal presence. A quartet of misfits from all walks of crazed metal and non-metal pursuits is the exact right sort of folk who’d create such rotten and primal death/doom as this, ‘Metastatic Declination’, a debut in service to the ancient dead and the modern surge of caveman battery alike.
If this full-length were simply an expansion of Carcinoid‘s fantastic demo from 2018 I’d say, it’d have been a pretty easy slam dunk of a record to dig through. That tape had a heavy dose of ‘The Dying Truth’ era Cianide in hand, a thick sound, and I’d say you could lump them in with bands like Fetid and Undergang on the side if you wanted to go that far. What’re they doing now on this debut? By picking up the pace and ripping through some Winter and Sorrow-esque pieces the vibe shifts from Cianide to Sempiternal Deathreign as the length of ‘Metastatic Declination’ expresses; That is to say that some Dream Death (“Ravenous Being”) and Celtic Frost influenced late 80’s/early 90’s death/doom is in order and it isn’t all sleepy-assed mid-paced chugging. They don’t go as pure doom as some of the more cult Netherlands death/doom progenitors like Necro Schizma, Mourning and Delirium do but if you listened to this record back to back with ‘Zzooouh’ no doubt it wouldn’t me an insane stretch to to feel like it could have been a follow up.
I never personally tire of primitive, lo-fi, brain-melting, cud-barfing, skull tossing death/doom records but it takes more than a few battered Hellhammer riffs and a Mike Perun style vocalist to get me riled up about a post-1995 take on this style; I’d say Carcinoid are about three quarters of the way there and a big portion of that is their resemblance of Cianide. The sightly cranked speed makes up for the thinner guitar tone and more ‘present’ sound of the production but ‘Metastatic Declination’ is just barely beyond the threshold of demo quality sound– Maybe that is a stylistic choice (of course it is…) but I figure this’ll be more ‘niche’ than your typical filth-plunging death/doom fan’ll expect. I wasn’t all that into this mess until I’d hit Side B, and for fuck’s sake the second half of this record is twice as barbaric as the first with its maze-like Winter-worthy (or, ‘Divide and Conquer‘?) riffing and the intensifying hollow roar of the vocalist. Hell, if they cranked out three or four of these same records I’d still be listening because I love that style though I think they could play with slower pacing and blasts to stretch out their dynamic beyond their ultra-traditional influences. Moderately high recommendation. For preview purposes I’d suggest starting with “The Drowning” for its Dream Death riffs and especially “Suffering Reborn” as those were the two songs that sold the full listen on my end.
Surrounded by oblivion. 3.75/5.0
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