“Retaliation” (remaster) by Carnivore

Artist: Carnivore
Title: “Retaliation” (remaster)
Label: Roadrunner Records
Release Date: 1/23/2001
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 3.5/5

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Peter Steele at the helm along with drummer Louis Beateaux, by this time guitarist Keith Alexander had moved on and been replaced by Marc Piovanetti (a musician who also had an association with Hardcore Metal band The Crumsuckers). 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 and lyrics for the whole release barring this cover are enclosed on an eight-page fold out insert. 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 remaster includes three bonus tracks which are band demos and the interesting thing 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. 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.

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 Web site: http://www.inner-conflict.com/

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