“Retaliation” (remaster) (reissue) by Carnivore

Artist: Carnivore
Title: “Retaliation” (remaster) (reissue)
Label: Metal Mind Productions
Release Date: 6/17/2008
Genre: Thrash Metal/Crossover Hardcore
Rating: 3.5/5

Metal Mind Productions continues their re-issuing of classic Roadrunner Records albums with this limited edition version of Carnivore’s sophomore album – “Retaliation”. Like the others of its kind the release comes packaged in a beautiful digipak that features original album art and a booklet. Given we had reviewed the original release we are re-presenting our thoughts about it since they have remained the same since that writing.

“Brooklyn’s own Carnivore returned with their second album “Retaliation” in 1987 and while it once again found Peter Steele at the helm along with drummer Louis Beateaux, by this time guitarist Keith Alexander had moved on and been replaced by Marc Piovanetti (a musician who also had an association with Hardcore Metal band The Crumbsuckers). The change in guitarist was not the only change for the band at this time for instead of the more traditional based Heavy Metal sound, there was now a faster and more intense level of aggression that was more along the lines of Hardcore Punk mixed with Speed Metal. Steele is found to be as angry as Hell on a majority of the tracks on the album and perhaps the album’s opening sounds on “Jack Daniels and Pizza” was what set him off on his tirades. I could have done without the recording of the bassist vomiting but it certainly helps to demonstrate the dark level of humor and profanity the band was so good at. The tracks on “Retaliation” cover a wide variety of topics such as religious intolerance during “Angry Neurotic Catholics” and racial disharmony during “Race War”. One would think that the singer is acting out his own ignorance but when you read the scathing lyrical content it seems clear that he is speaking instead from the mindset of someone both racially and religiously closed as opposed to being open about his own views. The crossover continues into tales of the regions destruction during “Ground Zero Brooklyn” and in one of the bands best tunes we learn about the reincarnation gone wrong as Jesus Christ and Adolf Hitler return as one person for “Jesus Hitler”. This track along with “Technophobia” and “Five Million Dead” (an instrumental) work well along the lines of the Apocalyptic Barbarians that we met on the bands debut “Carnivore” but when it comes to “USA for USA” and “Sex and Violence” is more of the hardcore influx Metal that resounds on the release.

There are a couple of more hints in sound that will eventually become Type-O-Negative but these interludes are brief ones. There is an unexpected cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Manic Depression” and it’s the perfect track for Steele’s display about his state of mind. Lyrics for the whole release barring this cover tune are enclosed on the booklet. It also presents band photos from this period in their membership and be warned at the words are not for the feint of heart or easily offended. Steele clearly aims to wake you up with a sense of alarm and fear on “Retaliation” and shows that he has a message that is intense as he can be. The deluxe edition also includes the three bonus tracks that were featured on the initial remaster of 2001 by Roadrunner Records and these are selections which are band demos and the interesting thing about them is that these particular songs are numbers from the bands debut album and in that are older than the demos that are featured on the remaster of “Carnivore”. They swapped them around to keep the listener guessing I imagine. They also include the same essay text that we found by Jeff Kitts on the deluxe edition of “Carnivore” which I found surprising. There is one error on this addition below a photo as it incorrectly lists Piovanetti as Alexander. Unfortunately this album would also be the last from Carnivore, and the band would break up shortly afterwards. Steele would return a few years later with a band he had formed called Repulsion but was now working under the name Type-O-Negative. The rest is history.

Additional Notes: Tragically, original Carnivore guitarist Keith Alexander was killed in an accident on July 11, 2005 and in 2006 Peter Steele would front a rebuilt lineup of the band and take them on the road. He has since mentioned in interviews that this new lineup would continue to perform and record going forward. At the time of this writing we have not yet seen any recorded or video product but there have been some tours.

The Metal Mind Productions re-issues of these classics are high recommendations that will become a welcome part of your musical library. We hope that you enjoy them as much as we do and that you help the forces of Metal to continue to impact the world by supporting labels such as this.

Track List:
1. Jack Daniel’s And Pizza
2. Angry Neurotic Catholics
3. S.M.D.
4. Ground Zero Brooklyn
5. Race War
6. Inner Conflict
7. Jesus Hitler
8. Technophobia
9. Manic Depression
10. U.S.A. For U.S.A.
11. Five Billion Dead
12. Sex And Violence
13. World Wars III And IV (demo) – bonus
14. Carnivore (demo) – bonus
15. The Subhuman (demo) – bonus

Official Website: http://inner-conflict.com/

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