Altar of Sin- Tales of Carnage First Class

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Wednesday, April 18, 2012

This year marks the tenth year anniversary since Spanish death/thrash band Altar of Sin was created, and so it seems appropriate that they have released their third full length album Tales of Carnage First Class. The group plays fast paced material that has a definite Possessed or Slayer inspired sound, and written eight songs plus an outro that don’t let up on intensity. It ends up being a little bit rough around the edges but for listeners who are fond of the style it’s a decent album that has some moments.

With the exception of one or two moments where the instrumentalists slow things down and try to inject some melodic breaks into their material, Altar of Sin is focused on speed and aggression. This is helped by the production values, which are polished enough to allow the instrumentals to not sound like a jumbled mess but raw enough to allow the riffs and drum beats to have the right amount of kick. Admittedly there are times where the band seems to be trying to play so fast that the drums and guitars don’t sound 100% in sync, and while I’m not sure why this is the case it does result in a slight rough around the edges feeling. This isn’t a frequent problem, and for the most part the band is able to pull off their mix of death and thrash metal admirably. Tales of Carnage First Class is a relatively short album and flies by rather quickly, but despite the short length there were still a few songs that were hard to tell apart from the others and this kept it from being a true heavy hitter.

One area that the group really nails is the vocals, as the primary style is a powerful growl that has the right mix between distortion and enunciation. Although I do enjoy some of the more extreme metal vocals, there is something nice about death metal style growls that still allow you to hear the lyrical content which is what drew me to Altar of Sin. The group does have backing vocals that are much higher pitched and are reminiscent of traditional thrash, but it did seem as though they were a bit hard to hear over the instrumentals and this is one element that could be brought out more next time around.

Tales of Carnage First Class finds this group showcasing that they understand how to do this style justice, and despite a few minor quirks they do have a good deal of technical ability. But the songs just don’t quite stand out as much as they could, and with a few stronger riffs that truly differentiate one track from the next these guys could take things to the next level. In the meantime though, Altar of Sin scores points for having much higher production values than your average band of this type and seem to be headed in the right direction.

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