Well, I got a nice CD choc-full of very metal tune and a flier, tape and even a bag of cotton candy (fairy floss) which disappeared in about five minutes upon its opening. Oh, did I mention the band? It is called Magnum Carnage (Myspace page) and the album rocks it with some dark, heavy stuff. The title of the album is pretty long – More Unreal Than a Box of Precious Metal and Radioactive Ore.
Magnum Carnage is an American black metal band from Honolulu, Hawaii. Originally formed in 1996, the band has gone through a number lineup changes all of which have been led and assembled by band leader Kai Laigo.
Now the review. Overall the album is hot, fast and (did I mention this?) heavy metal. It thrashes about like a crocodile chowing down a guy who didn’t read the warning message. Furthermore, like the croc’s lunch this band is very tasty and it’s hour-plus length cannot be devoured in a single bite. I found the first time I listened took a day as the tracks just overwhelmed me with the intensity of the music. Spinal Tap’s amps might go to 11, but these guys kept on cranking their amps to jet engine! Really, this music is really strong stuff and once you’ve got through it you’ll find yourself more than satisfied with the sound.
The album starts with the metal anthemesque head pumping Titanium Apocalypse, interspersed with speech during the track. It plays pretty hard, but this is just the start of a CD of madness. Track 2, Drowning in Feces/Death (The Slow Process), starts as a much more fierce track with machine-gun drums and ax-work slowing down midway to a heavy stomping vocalized tune.
Suitcase Nuke is a heavy, slow beating ensemble including a pepped up interlude, with the screamer giving a nice touch to the ax-oriented work. Following Suitcase Nuke is the raucous Night of the Chupacabra with spiced speed metal, strong screaming vocals and a quiet finishing flourish.
Divine Comedy Pt. 1 – Damn this Age plays like a metal version of a Mike Oldfield (Tubular Bells) tracks. This is a multi-layered track that I particularly enjoy. Demon City Honolulu is a neat piece of thrash metal including Spanish guitar riffs during and fine, quieter drum- and guitar-led pieces. The quieter ax-work seems to almost sing. The song also includes some great vocals and scream-work.
The Wolf starts off as a slower track with goth-metal ove, before moving onto more higher-tempo metals midway during the song. The Ballad of Brian Well is a heavy rock piece that plays well with distorted guitars throughout the track.
Platinum Hell Tour is a short track that screams at you with every piece of equipment the band has to through at you! Temple of Doom starts pepped up on strong guitars and drums. The track mixes hard guitars and slower vocals. Depraved Fantasy is a straight hard rock/metal track with the screamer plying the song with his voice. There are some parts to this track that are reminiscent of other metal artists – though my knowledge of who is what in the metal would is very limited!
No Fear Pt. 2 Speed vs. Stupidity starts stomping away before guitar and vocals take over. As with other songs in this album it intersperses the metal with more melodious and ambient tunes to take the pressure down midway in the song. No Fear Pt. 3 Xmas Fight Song is a calmer song letting the song’s vocals clearly cut through the noise as the ax volume turns itself up to dominate later in the song. A fine drum-supported guitar solo kicks in later in the track.
Gold is a short heavy rock song with more straight-laced sounds coming from the band. Bronze plays along edgier lines with pumped up drums and guitars from the start and has a catchy beat and vocals. Silver is another catchy heavy rock song that plays easily to a rock/pop crowd.
Plutonium (Awesome Song II) is head-pumping and foot-stomping from the start. The music plays towards the vocals allowing you to hear the story of the song. It’s rocky style with twists and turns make this one of my favorite tunes on the disk.
Buick ’88 starts off with melancholic guitars, slowly building in intensity to heady rock before cranking into metal with screamer vocals.
Video Games of the Gods is short track featuring of epic metal from the 70s & 80s. Grain Reaper is a hot piece of metal with clear vocals ruling over the instrumentals. Again the Mike Oldfield influence can be heard in the second half of the track.
2012 is a psychedelic pop-rock piece reflecting the subject – the insane world in the near future.
The final song, Nightmarish Full-Scale War, starts hard and heady and just keeps on rocking the whole way with epic-styled metal.
At the end of the day, all I can say is “Wow” – this is the only response I can come up with. To listen to it takes you on an hour-long hell of a sound ride. What I would do if I heard it live is stomp till my feet dropped off and scream at them until my head explodes. The only down side I found was that it the vocals were hard to pick up, a small thing, but a bit more clarity of the voices would have made the experience a bit better. Yes, this is good with innovative solid sounds that should grab you by the shoulders and scream at you!
Igor scores it 8/10 – very hot