Charnel House

Sample Of Murder

Charnel House - Sample Of Murder ©2000 Self-Released
1. A Blood And Bone
2. Tale Of Murder
3. No Reason To Die
4. Dance Of The Dead
5. Comatose In A Coffin

Having existed for over a decade in the New York scene, Charnel House seems as though they are yet another one of those hardworking underground bands who get many great gigs opening for more established acts while never quite elevating themselves beyond the status of a local band. Charnel House has released several demos and a couple full lengths in the past decade, as well as this quickie EP designed to gear audiences up for a summer release called From Birth to Burial.

Sample of Murder does indeed have the haze of a product quickly slapped together in order to have something to sell at shows. The sound quality is so-so, with guitars getting a bit of a backseat role in the production. With Charnel House playing a style that has more in common with late 80s thrash than anything modern or prevalent, the guitars obviously need more bite. The vocals of John King are a bit tedious to my ears, as his hybrid of talk-singing and grunting is a bit overdone and monotonous. The songs themselves are mid to fast paced numbers that offer tempo changes, mosh sections and thrash tailings. The lyrics, at least what I paid attention to, seem to be that horror movie type of stuff that a lot of thrash bands were doing over ten years ago and the song titles themselves tend to further that observation. A couple of the songs do offer some hedonistic speed frenzy appeal, such as "Comatose in a Coffin" or the groovier sections of "Tale of Murder". In the end, Sample of Murder isn't something that does much to excite me. It might appeal to someone who still lives and breathes thrash circa 1988 and wishes to hear fast metal that is neither power nor death metal. Otherwise, Charnel House may not have too many visitors knocking on their front door.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/2001

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