Carnal Decay - You Owe You Pay - (8.5/10)
Published on July 29, 2017
There’s a growing trend among modern death metal bands that’s proven quite unnerving for traditionalists of metal’s most brutal pastime. Bands the world over have opted to get ‘tough’ by injecting wanton doses of beefed-up, testosterone-fueled hardcore into the Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, Dying Fetus riff template. The results have seen a pronounced spike in both breakdowns and gang shouts, and a new age, one presumably deemed ‘the steroid era,’ has muscled its way into existence. And among those leading the vanguard of this ‘tough guy’ movement must assuredly be Switzerland’s Carnal Decay and their devastating fourth full-length release, You Owe You Pay. Batter’s up, bitches.
Of course, Carnal Decay, who’ve been around in one form or another since 2002, are more along the lines of a Mark McGwire than, say, an Aaron Judge. And despite the female presence of longtime guitarist Isa Iten, this is gnarled old man strength crushing a young man’s game, jacking out 70 bombs a season with no shortage of whiskered red-faced grooves and vascular thick-thewed double-bass runs. As a quartet, Carnal Decay collaboratively beast-mode their way through the ten tracks on You Owe You Pay, with the adrenalizing opener “No Sequel” serving as the record’s quintessential aural throw-down. Song titles befitting of the graphic cover artwork follow themes of vengeance and aggression while the music and Michael Kern’s bullish vocals push the pace to remorseless, relentless levels.
Carnal Decay aren’t rewriting the brutal death playbook and they certainly aren’t trying to outsmart the competition. The band go about their work violently, enthusiastically, and use their collective veteran experience to deliver a robust and consistent batch of churning, grinding head-bangers. You Owe You Pay thrives on its slick songwriting, groovy bursts, and single-minded focus to make each and every song ideal for the speakers of an underground fight club. These Swiss heavy-hitters knock their fourth full-length record right out of the goddamn park.