Grotesque Macabre (Reissue)

Carnal Savagery

CARNAL SAVAGERY's first album, “Grotesque Macabre,” has been woefully hard to obtain. Moribund Records is changing that.
November 17, 2023

OSDM fiends, CARNAL SAVAGERY, have been in the studio working on their fifth album targeted for release in early 2024. Meanwhile, their first album, “Grotesque Macabre,” has been woefully hard to obtain. Moribund Records is changing that. On October 13, 2023 the band reissued their stunning debut. The CD version includes two bonus tracks, new cover art, and layout. The digital version available via Bandcamp features three bonus tracks. Either way you go, you really can’t go wrong. This review covers the digital version that can be found at Bandcamp.

For those new to CARNAL SAVAGERY, the Swedish foursome emerged from the ashes of CROMLECH and DIVINE SOULS. Their delivery unforgiving, their focus undeviating, their destruction unescapable, this band is clawing its way through the banal fields of ‘critically acclaimed’ to the mountains of domination.

The digital version of the reissue includes 13 tracks, ten from the original album tracking and three from their previously unreleased “Zombie Infested” demo. Like all good metal albums, “Grotesque Macabre” intones ghastly church bells in the opening sequence immediately followed by a Doom-laden intro which, in turns, ramps up to the utter brutality of old school Death. And this is the beauty of CARNAL SAVAGERY—they don’t abandon songwriting for frenetic abuse. Instead, they effortlessly shift from sonic tempo to boots-of-lead. Heavy, as we all know, is inclusive of the measured as well as the savage. This is what makes this album so distinctive.

The original tracklist of “Grotesque Macabre” remains intact with an uplift in production from Studio LV5, Sweden (Horde of Hel, Nordjevel).  Everyone has their go to tracks here. Personally, I favor “Devoured by Maggots,” “Left to Rot,” “Deceased Rotten Flesh,” and “Murderous Rage.”

And then there are the demo tracks. These are tied together in three ways: origin (circa 2020), brevity (averaging 2.5 minutes each) tone (angry living dead as opposed to hungry wolf), and, of course, theme (rotting flesh and things that happen to said rotting flesh—e.g. eaten by zombies, decayed by time, and ripped from the grave). What the tracks lack in duration, they make up for in severity.

The obvious intent of reissuing “Grotesque Macabre” was to get it out there and make it available. It truly deserves to be ‘torn from the grave.’ What the reissue also accomplishes is that in shedding light on the earliest CARNAL SAVAGERY material, from their debut to their demo, fans can measure the distance the band has traversed from their origin to where they are now. Just makes you anticipate their upcoming fifth album, which is the real point.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect








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"Grotesque Macabre (Reissue)" Track-listing:

1. Devoured by Maggots       

2. Parasites    

3. Left to Rot  

4. Blood Ritual

5. Parasitic Decay

6. Carnivore   

7. Deceased Rotten Flesh

8. Murderous Rage    

9. Eaten by the Dead 

10. Eyes of the Rotten Dead

11. Zombie Infested

12. Mutilated

13. Devoured By Maggots (demo)


Carnal Savagery Lineup:

Mikael Lindgren – Drums, bass

Henrik Jansson – Guitars

Patrik Eriksson – Guitars

Mattias Lilja – Vocals


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