The eight cuts of grindcore and death-grind from Cropsy Maniac on this E.P. pack a lot into their short running time, with no track lasting more than two and a half minutes Carnage is a frenzied, brutal and rewarding listen.
Cropsy Maniac is a goregrind band with members hailing from the US and Bristol in the UK. The name comes from an urban legend about a disfigured victim of a campsite prank who takes his revenge by murdering teenage campers one by one. The legend is retold in countless slasher films but I am guessing by the garden shears on the cover they have chosen their name from The Burning‘s (1981) take on the story, a film wrote and produced by the even more horrific Harvey Weinstein.
The eight slabs of intense gore are all based on a classic low budget mid-1970’s – late 1980’s horror films with the exception of opener Brainscan, a cult movie from the mid-1990s.
Brainscan starts with a growl that leads into blast beats. The thrash guitar is counterbalanced with slow deep vocals, the sound of brutal murder being committed in a hypnotic trance. It also has a funeral guitar solo which adds to the menace.
The Devils Rain changes to black metal style vocals and has East Bay Ray style guitar. By the time we get to the final growl, it sounds like a satanic goat, the lord of light and darkness.
The Carpenter begins with thumping ‘stomp in a circle’ drums followed by power tool speediness. It sounds like Mortician transforming into Extreme Noise Terror.
Slaughterhouse sees the return of the blast beats and black metal vocal with hints of Haemorrhage. It has a great riff that conjures up images of pigs and meat cleavers.
Blood Beach changes to chaotic death metal vocals combined with a wildly excited riff; like your whole body been instantly dragged under the sand. At a little over a minute long, it does not slow down or pause for air.
The Beast Within has the sound of a Toxic Avenger like Alien; with sludgy vocals and a riff that emulates the more intense Morbid Angel material.
Rabid conjures up bloodthirsty Deicide zombies. Rabid drumming, deep slow vocals and a soaring guitar solo; by the end, you feel like a corpse being thrown in a garbage truck.
With final track Without Warning, you can feel the drudgery of the simplistic doom riff but the speedy drumming and vocals give a feeling of being in a mosh pit attacked by alien jellyfish.
The sub-genres of extreme metal displayed on this album are as wide as the sub-genres of the horror films they cover. Each track mixes it up slightly which leaves for a varied listen and at a running time under 15 minutes it makes Reign in Blood sound like Opeth.
Below with the tracklisting, I have added the years of the original films as I would highly recommend looking them up and although the E.P. stands well on its own, it also serves as a nice companion piece.
The Devils Rain (1975)
The Carpenter (1988)
Blood Beach (1981)
The Beast Within (1982)
Without Warning (1980)
Cropsy Maniac is:
Street Trash Travis drums
Kevin Reece vocals
Aaron Whitsell guitars
Jonny Pettersson bass
Links to Cropsy Maniac’s Bandcamp and Facebook pages.