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Review: Carnal Decay – You Owe You Pay

Switzerland’s death metal act Carnal Decay are dropping a full-length this Friday (February 10th) and I’m here to tell you why it is worth your attention. You Owe You Pay is Carnal Decay’s 4th full-length and is being released through Rising Nemesis Records. You can pre-order on Bandcamp and Rising Nemesis Records! Be sure to head to their Facebook and Instagram

You Owe You Pay is all about violence; big shocker right? A death metal band shouting and growling about ways and reasons why some poor sucker is getting fu**ed up is bewildering. All sarcasm aside I love the lyrics and brutality expressed in You Owe You Pay, and I’m not exactly sure why. Plenty of other bands in this same style have very similar lyrics with angry riffs and fast drumming, but something about You Owe You Pay is just better. In a sense you kind of get the vibe that the band (or particular members) would actually do the things described in the lyrics, so maybe that’s one reason why I enjoy it so much. Obviously the music behind it is the other big reason since it has to match what the lyrics are. There is a lot of heat behind the music that provides the right kind of fuel for the violent lyrics, but it’s a different kind of heat. It’s a mixture between anger, high energy, and a genuine desire to play something fast and hard. It feels like the band took time to craft appropriate music for a murder spree.

One of the songs that exemplifies what I had just described best is “Not worth a bullet,” which also happens to be one of my favorites on You Owe You Pay for a few reasons. I love the song structure because it’s very simple, but not repetitive or boring thanks to the change-ups in the sound and the lyrics. The main riff is in the style of Black Dahlia Murder and the drummer matches the riff with snare hits. I like the transitions between verses and how they sound more spaced out than the verses and main riff do. It gives each aspect of “Not worth a bullet” room to breathe without easing up on the energy in the song.

There aren’t any songs that are about constant movement and are full speed the entire song. Every song has a riff or a small section that retracts long enough to catch a breath. “No Sequel” starts off heavy and demonic, but it has breakdown-y kind of sections that are perfect for headbanging and they don’t take away from the “heaviness” of the track. “I crush your dreams” does this except in a less breakdown-y fashion. The played riff goes from fast movement to lasting chugs/chords. Things like that have lasting impacts on violent songs and Carnal Decay does it well.

I really enjoy the production on You Owe You Pay because of how clear and respected every band member sounds. If the drummer sneaks in a tom hit or a quick play on the ride, you can hear it just as present as the guitar and vocals. Nobody overpowers anybody on this album and none of the instruments sound polished either. The guitar tone is full and clear: distorted enough for a gritty/violent attack on the music, but well-rounded enough to sound full, clear-cut, and to be supported by the bass.

There are no solos here, which isn’t a deal-breaker for me at all. Had Carnal Decay added some more technicality in bridges or included designated sections for that, You Owe You Pay would be even better and would offer more to the listeners. It’s not a big deal that there aren’t any on here because Carnal Decay are more focused on getting straight to the point and dealing the damage rather than dance around it and dress it up, which they do well. Another great thing about this album is that the songs do not blend together so it makes the listening experience much better when you listen to the album fully through in one sitting. I really like how violent and full of energy You Owe You Pay is. It isn’t the most violent, sick, or nasty album I’ve heard, but it’s a different kind of violent and, personally, I’m enjoying the fresh air. It’s a good album and I see myself enjoying it for a while. Is it worth a pre-order? Yes, I’d say so.

Rate: 8/10

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