Album Review: Carcinoid – Metastatic Declination 7.8

  • Carcinoid
  • Metastatic Declination
  • Blackened Sludge
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • Label: Memento Mori
  • October 6th, 2019
  • 7.8/10

Bandcamp / Facebook / Metallum

Carcinoid are a fun band to me, there’s something inherently goofy about it without it actually being a joke – in fact they are a serious and talented band, they’re just so intense that it makes me titter nervously and the bass is so groovy that I have to move to it. This is raw af sludgeoned black death doom metal that will do things you haven’t really heard before, like absurdly clean bass tones and unexpected lofi melody. It’s not very accessible though, perhaps only existing for the sake of the most nihilistic and misanthropic metalheads around. There’s just so much sludge and generally ominous shit, this isn’t supposed to be accessible or palatable. It will be a sure hit for those like myself who enjoy super abrasive death doom, which is a lot of the metal cassette community.

There’s a big mix of alternative metal, hardcore and sludge styles at hand on Metastatic Declination like Code Orange style feedback or even blackened speed metal segments. The latter was definitely a highlight for me, while the feedback felt more derivative. As I said, it’s a big mix so there’s only a little bit of the things I don’t like a whole lot of “else”. It’s a typically high octane album with a good pace and energy, if it does slow down it’s simply to engage in what I can only describe as “audio stomping”. There’s a lot of condensed and powerful bits of music to be sifted out of the muddy mixing, it’s rewarding to those who hold out and listen to whole album.

This would be a great live performance because you’d never stand there questioning what to do or wondering if you’ve been moving one way for too long, Carcinoid will make your body decisive and spasmic. Am I the only one who gets way too in their head in the most pit if the band is boring but serviceable? Carcinoid are playing an album launch show on December 14th in Melbourne, event page here. Hopefully I will see them come up to Brisbane at some point.

There is a couple of times where the guitar dared to soar in spite of the lofi mixing and it was pretty epic. I enjoy the ideas they’ve presented within the lofi soundscape. They’ve pushed the sludge as far as they could in every direction, like an ever growing dark green and brown Katamari Demaci rolling on the outskirts of every alternative genre and picking up a little bit from each one. It’s basically the metal version of the muck monster from FernGully. I feel like I both love and hate this album, I suppose that’s kind of the point in a way, it’s both repugnant and engrossing. 

The cassette from Headsplit Records is on point, I got the transparent red and I’m glad. It looks fucking sweet. I also have their 2018 demo tape from Caligari Records with the white shell, another variant I love. The similarity between the two tapes gives them a nice thematic vibe, I look forward to collecting any future tapes they put out.

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