Carcinogen – Human Atrophy review, in crystal-clear HD!

It’s about time I got around to this either by virtue of beating my laziness or by knocking out my professors with stellar academic performance! And with much further ado, I present Carcinogen’s most recent outing, Human Atrophy. Listen there on SoundCloud if you’re not an impatient fuck.

Human Atrophy

Woah! Not gonna give me any foreplay via sample or feedback, eh? I like your style already. Having seen these guys in action a few months back  I liked them, but forgot how they sounded. Now I recall they were one of the better bands of the night, having a no-nonesense approach to their brand of Deathrash, which hits hard and sloppy, regretting not that it just left your mother’s bloodied corpse a cumstained mess. What I mean to say is, this track is just the opener, and you’re already ripped from V to A by the chaotic speed influenced by German Teutonic Thrash a la Sodom and Kreator, Death Metal riffing brought forth by OSDM bands the likes of Cannibal, and even a bit of a Hardcore influence peeking in. The slower sections sound Slayer influenced, and the screeching jumbled police siren solo says much of the same. The track runs a bit hefty at a little over 6 minutes when it probably would’ve been more comfortable at around 4, but it’s good enough to hold its own weight in chunky viscera.

Chambers Of The Nocturnal

Opens up immediately sounding like a late 80s/early 90s Thrash song complete with blasts, and stops as if to survey the carnage done by the initial barrage, then continues barreling forth with riffs that basically say “CIRCLE PIT, RIGHT THE FUCK NOW“. More Slayer influence is heard around 1:34 into the song, vaguely reminding one of Angel Of Death. Vocalist Johnny even does the solitary high pitched vocal here, sounding like he legitimately got his nipple ripped off. The agony! That’s a good thing, by the way. Tremolo picking, blasting, and rolling double bass steamroll the Angel to replace it with a slightly melodic but still threatening Death Metal section, followed by some sick grooves, brah. Another squealing solo heavy on the whammy makes me want to go out on a limb and say they like Slayer. A lot. Fortunately, this works in their favor, as they have enough of their own Death Metal stylings to stave off being a clone. More mid-paced Deathrash riffing effectively closes the chamber so the zombies don’t escape.

Neurotoxin

This song differentiates itself from the other two by opening in a more Death Metal style (complete with mini bass solos) and introducing more melody head-on rather than teasing the listener with it. It bounds along in tis fashion until just before the 2 minute mark, where a nice flourish signals a shift in the song, and by shift I mean everything goes underwater to emerge as a Thrash beast. More circle pits, motherfucker, as another rippin’ solo comes roaring backed by a vanguard of standard (but cool) riffing and galloping drums. The song comes back around to the melodic Death Metal riff in the beginning, and closes with a cool li’ riff fading out that sits comfortably in a no-man’s land of Extreme Metal genres, being mid-paced and headbangable.

Postmortem (Slayer Cover)

Of course! I don’t believe I’ve heard the original song, but it’s a pretty nice touch, as most bands throw in a cover with an EP anyway. They gave this song a nice set of brand-spankin’ new tits, with a warmer production, growls that seem a bit deeper even than the other tracks on the album, guitars that are more like chainsaws than jagged razors, and an amusing replacement of Araya’s screech “Await the final GYAAAAAAAAAAHD!” with a whammified note from a guitar. They even went the extra mile and put in the beginning of Raining Blood. Why? I guess it was just fun to do. As far as Slayer covers by Death Metal bands go, this was standard fare, but still, SLAYER!!!! and all, y’know? It’s almost against the law to openly dislike them, really.

So this EP was nice to finally listen to, and I certainly don’t feel my time was wasted, because I do that enough to myself. I certainly hope for the best for Carcinogen, as they are an adequate grouping of minstrel knaves. Not much in the way of innovation, and you’ll most likely have heard it all somewhere else before, but they have managed to keep my attention, so they get a passing grade.  I’d like to see them again soon, but they live in BagOfDicksVille, NY, so unless I make another pilgrimage out there or they hop over to the Bay State, I’ll probably never get the chance. Phooey.

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