Written by Barlovv
> Kanine – Karnage
> Released July 8, 2022
> Lacerated Records
“God is going to spit on your fucking face”
When I shared this album with my cousin, she wrote back “I’ve never heard something sound so much like the album art in my life” – and that’s kind of a perfect way to encapsulate what Karnage is; besides the 2022 release from Strasbourg band Kanine. I mean, just look at that cover, if you aren’t sure what you’re in for then I’m not sure anything can be done for you.
This is, without question, one of the most absurd, junk food, pig squealing, slam dancing album I’ve listened to this year – and I genuinely loved every single second of it. Typically that pig squeal scream is kind of a non starter for me, but for whatever reason right from the beginning of “Furie”, the little serotonin receptor in the back of my brain lit up and this album an I were going to have a long and beautiful friendship.
There has to be some sense of humor here, I can’t imagine identifying yourself as a “Slamdeathcore” band with a straight face (and it is also a crime that that genre is not listed on Apple Music, just putting it out there), and the delivery of the vocals does have the air of some self-aware silliness while still commanding your attention from the jump.
There is very little downtime here, the intro opens the door and then you are blasting through the 9 song/30 minute album at warp fucking speed, with all the slams and jams you could ever want, even some fun “end of the world AI” samples that brought to mind Bring Me the Horizon‘s “Parasite Eve”, I’m sure unintentionally. Though there does even seem to be some environmental messaging through the album which feels strange but it is also nice to see some acknowledgement that we’re all doomed.
While I would like to deep-dive some lyrics for you, I can’t seem to find them around, but I did pull the quote at the start of this review from “Gangrene” and it kind of sets a tone in my opinion. You can’t really go wrong here though, the instrumentals are huge and hit hard, the vocals are angry, and the pace is wild. It will very quickly go into many a gym rotation (including mine). Also, 8th track is called “Counter Slam Bass Drop Offensive” – I’m not sure why that’s relevant necessarily, but it feels like it needs to be remarked about.
The Bottom Line
Karnage absolutely fucking rules and I won’t hear any contrary opinions. Is it a genre defining masterwork? No. Is it a 29 minute “Slamdeathcore” album with a three headed bear on the cover that genuinely brings me joy? Fuck yeah it is.