“Carnivore Mothermouth”, OBLIVEON’s fourth and final full-length release, serves as a prime example of what can happen when a band keeps pushing its sound until basically nothing of their core sound is left. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against progression, but when a band goes so off-kilter that progression essentially turns into regression then I’m just not interested. Hello, "Carnivore Mothermouth"…
If you read my reviews on their previous albums then you’ll know that I hold “Nemesis” in high regard, while being a little underwhelmed by their other two albums (1990’s “From This Day Forward” and 1995’s “Cybervoid”). On “Nemesis” they got the balance between Thrash and more avant-garde Groove and Industrial elements just right, while on the other albums they just kinda jammed their way through 40-odd minutes. On “Carnivore Mothermouth” almost all of the early Thrash influences have given way to groove-driven pieces of Thrashcore with the odd emphasis on near EBM/Goth elements. Think SOULFLY meets DIARY OF DREAMS. Doesn’t sound good, does it? The album gets off to a fairly strong start with “Technocarnivore Mother Mouth” (what the hell is up with these titles?!), one of the rare moments where the Thrash-meets-Goth/Industrial Metal elements coalesce into a fairly enjoyable and coherent whole. It’s not really heavy per se but it does maintain a good flow throughout while also invoking a slightly atmospheric motif. The equally bizarrely titled “Desert Incorporel” is also not bad, even though the tough guy chorus can get a little grating after a while. The bass and song-structure is quite interesting nonetheless, while “Such A Quiet River” is also not too shabby. The thing is just that the band didn’t quite know what they want to sound like on this album because they’ve introduced too many disparate elements to their sound over the years. Trying to pack 200 pounds worth of ideas into a 100 pound bag is never a good idea, and this is exactly what OBLIVEON tried to do on “Carnivore Mothermouth”. The production is great and I’ve always loved this band’s guitar tone, but none of these songs really get going. It sounds more like a series of moments and impressive notes rather than a whole.
It’s just as well that they decided to pack it in after this album because they’ve just become too weird for the average Thrash fan to appreciate while also not quite being in complete control over their more experimental tendencies, at least not to the extent for the Prog crowd to take them seriously.
So cheers boys – you came, Thrashed out a little, and then completely lost the plot due to your musical jerking about. Too much of a good thing is never a good thing you know…
(Online November 13, 2007)