Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
In the days before he formed Type-O-Negative, Peter Steele was the leader of the Post-Apocalyptic Barbarians known as Carnivore. It was a band that was as brutal in sound as they were in appearance and their shows back in the Metal heyday of 1985 were described as being among the craziest to ever witness. The group was often clad in animal skins and various armor implements during their shows and at times, they even brandished weapons as well as their guitars. They would incite their fans into frenzy by throwing raw meat into the audience and even drench them with real blood (and this was not the water paint that Gwar would come to use). It was safe to assume if you attended a Carnivore show that you would remember it for a very long time. Releasing two albums on Roadrunner Records (“Carnivore” and “Retaliation” ) the band was ahead of its time with some of the most intense and brutal Thrash Metal to be heard – musically it was a mix of Thrash with Hardcore Punk meets the NWOBHM styled music you were finding at the time. The bands music was powerful and at the same time incendiary, as songs like “Angry Neurotic Catholics” and “Jesus Hitler” played upon peoples religious, political views while “Ground Zero Brooklyn”, and “Armageddon” warned of life after the Big One goes off.
Tonight the scene of the crime would be B.B. King Blues Club where Carnivore would return but from the original line up only founder Peter Steele would be present. The others were not a part of the short tour, and sadly, the membership of the original band was lessened by one when guitarist Keith Alexander was killed during the summer of 2005. The rebuilt Carnivore would find Pete on bass and vocals as expected, along with Joey Z. (Life of Agony) and Paul Bento on guitars while Steve Tobin (Dust To Dust) handled the drums. Originally, I admit that I was hesitant about this show for while Keith could obviously not be a part of the band they most certainly could have had the original drummer or Type-O-Negatives own Johnny Kelly. Yet as the entrance music arrived and the band came onstage only to quickly exit for a few more minutes (a trick normally done with Type-O to my knowledge) it seemed like tonight would be an interesting one. The band returned with Pete holding a tray of raw meat, which was quickly tossed into the crowd – they were ravenous to it and I wondered what kind of scrapbook entry this would make. Musically this was tight and energetic with Pete in good form after his recent hiatus from music. It was interesting to see him doing Carnivore music once again as opposed to getting back on track with Type-O-Negative, and while I am sure that many had the same reservations on this as I did, there were a good 900 people in attendance which is a killer showing for a band like this (especially on a Wednesday night). The guitar work was totally on point as Joey Z. (whose side I was on for most of the show) was truly giving it his all and seemed a perfect fit for the role he was doing tonight. He has already established himself with his band Life of Agony and it was quite cool to see him doing music that is so drastically different from their style. The band was all garbed in red band shirts and had their own equivalent to the Black Metal corpse paint – each member had what appeared to be blood, scars and some type of army camouflage on them. It was imposing as a visual and I think this is what Peter always aims for on top of his dark sarcasm in his music.
The set for tonight would be a rundown of the best Carnivore tunes ever recorded and the band was highly energized as Bento and Z. ran about the stage as often as possible only stopping to sing backups to Pete from time to time. During it all, Tobin was assaulting the drums and doing the music very well behind the minimal kit he chose to use. There was not as much banter for this show as the singer opted to play more than talk or paused to sip his wine periodically but towards the end, they all returned in bloody smocks. Apparently, at some earlier shows on the tour, they had tossed buckets of blood on the crowd but it did not seem like this was allowed at tonight’s venue. They did throw seemingly used tampons into the crowd, which were met with the same acceptance as the earlier raw meat. I am sure such a sight is intense and photo worthy but my experience with Gwar and the fake stuff makes me hightail it away when any liquid comes into play at a show. By this time of the night I was immersed in the songs I recalled from the past as they were done with a renewed anger and spirit and it seemed as though many attendees in the crowd knew the words as certain choruses were screamed at the top of their lungs. My favorite tunes of the night would have to be opener “Carnivore”, “Race War”, S.M.D.” and of course “Jesus Hitler”. The band would close out with a little “Black #1” teaser from Peter who said that this ain’t Type-O-Negative. It is my hope that some of these performances were recorded and we will find some sort of live concert CD released or perhaps even a DVD. It went over well enough to merit this being the case if this show was any indication of their appeal. The original two albums have been remastered and issued by Roadrunner Records are still available on Amazon.com among other outlets of this kind. They include bonus tracks and enhanced artwork/liner notes.
2. Race War
3. Jack Daniels And Pizza – tape
4. Angry Neurotic Catholics
5. Male Supremacy
6. Inner Conflict
7. Future War Intro – tape
8. World Wars III & IV
9. Helter Skelter
12. Jesus Hitler
13. Sex and Violence
Here’s a shot of Duff’s bar owner Jimmy Duff who introduced the band tonight
In the odd chance that we’ve not managed to pique your interest about this one, here is a single shot of the mighty Peter Steele. I suggest clicking that logo so you can read the article and see all the images.
Official Web site: http://www.inner-conflict.com/