Carnival In Coal - Collection Prestige

Year of Release: 2005
Label: Elitist Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 46:14:00


What is it?

Dinner music for the damned? John Tesh's revenge? Liberace for the libationary? Artwork and packaging reminiscent of the worst of K-Tel, replete with tuxedo bedecked, rose to nose, velvet draped buffoons, smirking like the village imbecile, winking and promising a salacious dalliance. Delicious.


What it is:

I looked at the cover, puzzled, and turned the disc over to read the song list. Cleverly classical font almost masked the sardonic titles. I was confused, but started to see that all isn't what it purported to be.

A closer look in to the libretto revealed a roadmap to seduction ? delicate finger food, a Tiffany egg, a roaring fireplace straight out the "soft sounds of the 70s," chocolate, jewels, rose petals, champagne, a poodle with a severed hand in its mouth (!), and, yes, oh my, skyrockets in flight! Afternoon delight! Finally, the graphic portrayal of the culmination of the act ... you'll have to see that one for yourself!

I checked the label to make sure that I hadn't inadvertently mixed up my discs, and pressed play.

THIS is what death metal is all about. Tortured shrieks, brutally heavy grooves, distorted bass, apocalyptic keyboard textures: a textbook death metal intro! Carnival In Coal combines death, black, and hardcore vocals with clean singing to tremendous effect, unlike any other band I've ever heard in this genre. Blast beats, hyper-shred solos, and lyrics that extol the virtues of devotion to a satanic lifestyle ("Satanic Disaster"), laud their morbid fascination with death and dismemberment ("Cartilage Holocaust") and forebode of impending judgment ("Delivery Day").

Misogyny, often prevalent in gore-splattered music, is strangely absent; CinC opt for misanthropy in general...

Oh ? did I mention that Collection Prestige is a without a doubt the single most refreshingly snide commentary on metal I've ever heard? Not a single aspect of this disc doesn't make fun of some hyperbolic, pompous, self-aggrandizing aspect of death or black metal, skewering the image, sound, but most pointedly, the lyrics of the countless bands who propagate their "cookie-monster" laden drivel with serious intent.

Kazoo fills in "Living In The Plastic Age;" tap-dancing interspersed with death growls and cartoon music sound effects on the ending of "Fuckable;" a soprano sample from Mozart's "Queen Of The Night" aria (The Magic Flute) on "Ohlala;" a socially conscious public service message from the band on "Right Click? Save As?"; and an interminable, histrionic guitar solo ending rivaling Spinal Tap's finest work at the end of "The Lady And The Dormant Sponge" ... these are just a few of the elements that showcase CinC's self-deprecating humor and their wicked sense of parody.

None of these devices detract from the flow of the songs, and are integrated into the compositions seamlessly, weaving their demented counterpoint in and out of each piece.

CinC sachet across musical boundaries with aplomb. In addition to their complete mastery of the vocal and instrumental death / black / hardcore delivery, these wacky fellows play blisteringly hot funk-soul (vocals on "Fuckable" are reminiscent of Incubus and Faith No More's Mike Patton), and dead-on disco ("Cartilage Holocaust"), but a highlight is the double-time Django Rheinhardt-inspired guitar solo section on "Satanic Disaster"!

The clean vocals are very well sung and intelligently arranged (the vocal harmonies on "Satanic?" reminded me of an obscure German prog-metal band from the early 90s called Annon Vin), and when CinC get down to business and play it straight, whether it's the funk, soul or disco incarnation, the music grooves and swings ? hard.

Rating: 5 /5 (The plus is for the deftly acerbic lyrics)

Superb: unique concept married expertly with high level of musicianship and lyrical skill; encourages adherence to their viewpoint/philosophy; demands attention and or repeated listens to appreciate fully

Summary: Twisted, heavy, progressive, entertaining and most important when it comes to METAL, doesn't take itself (or anyone for that matter) seriously at all.

Standout tracks: "Satanic Disaster," "Ohlala," "Delivery Day," "Cartilage Holocaust."

Party At Your House (2:35) / Fuckable (4:03) / Satanic Disaster (5:21) / Rick Click...Save As... (2:26) / Cartilage Holocaust (3:58) / The Lady And The Dormant Sponge (6:02) / Delivery Day (4:32) / Ohlala (3:55) / Living In The Plastic Age (3:42) / D.O.A. (Drunk Once Again) (6:32) / Promenade (3:08)

Arno Strobl - vocals
Axl Wursthorn - everything else

Vivalavida (1999)
French Cancan (1999)
Fear Not (2001)
Collection Prestige (2005)

Genre: Death-Black Metal

Origin FR

Added: May 16th 2005
Reviewer: Jan-Mikael Erakare
Artist website:
Hits: 1742
Language: english


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