CARNIVORA – Re-Incarnal

CARNIVORA - Re-Incarnal


Release date: October 12, 2006

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Featuring several of the country’s most prominent Metal musicians –- Michael Eriksen (Circus Maximus), Jan Axel “Hellhammer” Blomberg (Mayhem, The Kovenant, Arcturus), and “Norway’s Slash” – Tore Moren (Street Legal, Rain) — in their ranks, Carnivora was expected to create quite a buzz with their 2004 debut Judas. However, the prophecies did not come through to the extent the band wished, and with Moren joining JORN, and Arcturus and Circus Maximus reaching something akin to a cult status in the Prog Metal ranks, 2005 was a silent year for Carnivora. 2006 saw the band head back into the spotlight, though, as they got a fair share of press coverage after having strippers onstage at the Kvinesdal Rock Festival. Eriksen had now quit the band, leaving the vocalist spot open for Eirik Barsleth, whose Rock ‘n’ Roll influenced approach suited the band very well. Circus Maximus drummer Truls Haugen replaced Hellhammer, and Rune Torgersen was added to the ranks as a second guitarist. This made Carnivora a five piece band, also featuring original member Bjarne Torud on bass.

Re-Incarnal is actually a very good album, mixing inspirations from Black Label Society, Mötley Crüe, Metallica, and Malmsteen in quite an original manner –- not an easy feat with today’s over-crowded musical landscape. Barlseth’s vocals work well, although he is definitely at his best and most comfortable when he can avoid the longer melodic lines -– this boy’s a rocker, nothing less and nothing more, and Michael Eriksen-style, intricate scale-based lines are not his thing. Songs like “Deaf Dumb And Blind” and “Life Of Sin” shows his voice at its best. It must be mentioned that Eriksen guest sings on “Essence Of Time,” the most melodic song on the album, and does that very well indeed.

Despite the good vocals, guitars are really what Re-Incarnal is all about -– and lots of ’em too! The pairing of Moren with Torgersen can pull off some riffs, and with the crappy last album from Black Label Society, it may be time to crown the new kings of the Beer ‘n’ Roll guitar riff. “Deaf …,” “Life …,” “Demon In A Bill,” and “Burn The Witch” are some guitar-related highlights, and the latter also features the dead cool idea of letting some of Norway’s finest guitarists empty themselves for some 6 very politically incorrect minutes. Mats Haugen and Jørn Lofstad are the most well-known of the bunch, along with Moren and Torgersen, while Øyvind “Lionheart” Larsen (Illusion Suite), Stig Rolfsen (ex. Diabla), Peter Skari (Random, Caliban Allstars), and Truls Haugen (yeah, this guy’s now officially a drummer, guitarist, singer, bassist, and pianist!) show that there’s quite a few mean string slingers to be found in the Northern hemisphere. The observant reader would, of course, know whos the most insane of them all (if not, browse through this Web site for a while and you’ll probably find out …).

Re-Incarnal has become a very strong release, with mostly strong songs, some very cool vocal lines, and classy guitar work throughout. There is room for improvement on the songwriting part, though –- both “Essence Of Time” and “Sweet Delight” would, for example, benefit from a second evaluation –- but, the potential in this band is endless, and their future should look very bright indeed.


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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