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Carnivore is the band that Peter Steele, the now deceased mastermind of Type O Negative, he of the 6' 7" frame and 11 inch knob, was in before he started Type O Neg.

And they're as far removed from Type O Negative as you can imagine. Apart from the political incorrectness that Mr Steele had such a penchant for (and if you don't associate Type O Neg with political incorrectness, have a listen to "We Hate Everyone," "Christian Woman," "Der Untermensch," and "Unsuccessfully Coping with the Natural Beauty of Infidelity" and you will be enlightened.) Whereas Type O Neg were languid and synth-heavy and gothic, Carnivore were, well, carnivorous. Suppose the two bands were vampires. Type O Neg would be Anne Rice style at best or a Twilight number at worst. Carnivore would be a blood crazed psychopath who sucks your blood just because and probably gives you AIDS into the bargain. They're razor-sharp, relentless, and thrashy, and have less of a baritone singing and more bellowing the odds at top volume.

Lyrically? Baiting religion, primarily Catholicism, and that primarily in a song called "Jesus Hitler" and another one about self injury called "Angry Neurotic Catholics." They also engage in some good old crowing about sex and violence. Indeed, the band's title track, "Carnivore," which is on their initial album, also called "Carnivore," is about muff diving. It has lyrics about "Oh girl, you sure taste sweet" and "a taste so fine like sweet april wine," some "Je t'aime" style panting and moaning in the middle, and a bit where everything drops out apart from Peter Steele bellowing, "Going down.... DIVE! DIVE" and "I LAAAHHHVE, TO EAT PÜSSEH!!!" They also touch on that old thrash lyric standby, nuclear armageddon ("World Wars III and IV", "Thermonuclear Warrior") and zombie infestation ("Predator," a delightful song about being eaten by same and which ends with Peter Steele belching.) And like many a thrash song about megadeath, it's all disturbingly upbeat and so forth.

I think I'll quit talking about the music here, it's awesome and I recommend you go and buy it all (please get the original of their self titled first album with the splattery logo, not the remaster with the vagina dentata on it; they've merged it with half of Retaliation on that and cut some other stuff off.) What I will go on about, though, is how Peter Steele got from "I LAAAHHHVE, TO EAT PÜSSEH!!!" to "My Girlfriend's Girlfriend" and being all gothic and so forth with Type O Neg. Surely there's some dissonance here. Well, I think I know the answer to this one.

You see, Carnivore only released two albums, "Carnivore" and "Retaliation," before breaking up. I have heard that there was going to be a third album called "Jesus Christ Looks Like Me," but they split before it could be released. Not to worry, though, because most of this stuff was recycled into Type O Neg's first album, "Slow, Deep, and Hard," which was distinctly thrashier than the stuff for which they were known, and also politically incorrect. Furthermore, even as early as Carnivore's "Male Supremacy" on their first album was an acoustic break with Peter Steele singing about "in the furs I make love to her, how her body sings." Which isn't too far removed from "in our meat triangle, all tangled, wow" in Type O Neg's seminal "My Girlfriend's Girlfriend," all things considered. Similarly, even as late as "Bloody Kisses," Type O Neg's third album, there was thrash stuff like "Kill all the White People" and "We Hate Everyone" (the latter of which always opened their concerts), and live they would cover Carnivore's "Jesus Hitler." So it wasn't a sudden switchover, more a gradual bleed.

The so-called Rubicon, however, would have been Type O Negative's "Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare-All)" in my view. This track, if you've not heard it, is basically eleven minutes of ripping off Bauhaus and the original wave of goth bands. With lyrics that bait goths (which you can google if you're interested). However, this was the first really popular thing that Type O Neg or Carnivore had done and I suppose he kinda became the mask, so to speak, and started gothing it up ever since.

I had the opportunity to see Carnivore live at Wacken Open Air in 2006 but I kinda sat it out because back then I didn't know much of their stuff. More fool me, as Peter Steele is now posing nude for Playgirl's Afterlife Edition so I'll not get another chance. Bollocks.