Carnal Tomb – Embalmed In Decay

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German death metal quartet Carnal Tomb launched its third studio album “Embalmed In Decay” on November 3rd, 2023, via Testimony Records. Oozing from the subterranean crypts, Carnal Tomb is musically influenced by the old school Dutch death/doom metal bands like Asphyx. Carnal Tomb’s newest endeavor shows great ability to cement its obscure sound even though their sophomore release “Abhorrent Veneration” was the band strongest effort, every song on that album brought a mixture of doomy sections.

Interestingly, on “Embalmed In Decay” the riffs have a brutal tone, and despite the slower tempos and the progressive death metal riffs of the opening song “The Putridarium”. The heavy, grimy tone of the guitars offers plenty of slow and doomy sections. Drummer Vomitchrist and guitarist and vocalist Cryptic Tormentor, guitarist Goat Eviscerator, and bassist Impaler retain their unique style in the third album which in my opinion is very different from the previous one. There is some inspiration from bands like Cryptic Brood and Chapel of Disease that show a notable progression in the riffing style on the following song “Cataclysmic Maze”.

We get the kind of chilling riffs with the rattling bass guitar and the grinding drums and the lead guitars evoke an eerie feel, the songs basically have no frills. The riffing is gripping enough that demonstrate the skills, and there are some catchy guitar patterns executed with great accuracy. There is an innovative side to the music that somehow makes it feel more organic, and the blasting sections with some malicious deep growls give it a classic vibe. The caustic slab of HM-2 distortion explodes heavily rendering a classic old-school quality, the drums have a dynamic range and always manage to bring the thrills and there is a clear emphasis on the grinding drums. Eerie guitar melodies dripping with ghastly atmosphere create a unique formula of death/doom in the track “Defiled Flesh”.

Besides the creepy covert art of the album, Carnal Tomb ensures a memorable and chilling experience that contrasts to the themes of death metal macabre. The vocals are guttural and maliciously evil though the album isn’t overly slow-paced, but the riffs are damned brutal and sinisterly crafted. “Draped in Disgust” has some fucking killer riffs, the vocal approach is one-dimensional, but the effect of dark riffs is quite heavy and not to mention the massive thudding of the drums. The swelling of the cold blood-curdling riffs is something Carnal Tomb has achieved in the previous effort, therefore “Embalmed In Decay” takes many elements from bands like Entombed.

The vocals on the album are very typical old school. They sound deep, guttural, and saturated with a chord progression, but the lead guitars are just awesome. The key element of the songwriting is the technique of the guitars, the riffs simply crush the listener, and they offer plenty of catchy melodies and lead guitars. “Cerebral Ingestion” has the right amount of aggression in the guitar tone, there is also a dichotomy between the Swedish-styled death metal riffs and the progressive mixture of Morbus Chron. It’s astonishing how the lead guitars are executed with such precision and bring a sense of melody to the composition, the song structure is moldy and always meandering.

Carnal Tomb knows when to scourge the listener with the abrasive HM-2 riffs. The quartet isn’t afraid to switch between styles of the driven riffs to the sense of sleek melody that is very akin to the style of Dismember. The band’s technique and songwriting skills are brought to the forefront, there are songs like “Morgue Usurper” that verge on the creepy intro, which then explodes into brutal riffing and grooves. When it comes down to the drumming, the song offers plenty of blast beats. The menacing growls, and abrasive riffing are cohesive and leave you to revel in the rotten riffs, and yet there is a clear focus on the blast beats.

The album’s title track “Embalmed In Decay” is a pure carnage of classic death metal and offers something more brutal and morbid to fans of Swedish death metal. There is a sense of obscurity similar to bands like Wombbath.

The straightforward onslaught of the grinding drums and the churning riffs brings something pungent and putrid to the table. The slow, crushing tempo of the final track “Eyes of the Chasm” by these Germans engulfs you in a morbid atmosphere. We get treated with some brutal riffing and blast beats ripping through the flesh and bursting with pure raw death metal aggression.


  • Music / Songwriting 8/10
  • Vocals / Lyrics 8/10
  • Mix / Production 10/10
  • Artwork & Packaging 8/10
  • Originality 9/10

Carnal Tomb’s third album “Embalmed In Decay” churns out rotten raw heavy morbid old-school death metal songs and pushes beyond the boundaries of sound.

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