Carnival in Coal - _Fear Not_
(Kodiak Records, 2001)
by: David Rocher (erratically oscillating from 0 to 10)
Talk about the thin line drawn between insanity and genius, and the name of French act Carnival in Coal springs to mind instantly. If you ever thought the disastrously Cacophonous band Ebony Lake or the incomprehensible Dillinger Escape Plan's _Calculating Infinity_ were weird, believe me -- they'll sound pathetically orthodox and predictable once you check _Fear Not_ out. The sequel to Carnival in Coal's 1998 release _Vivalavida_ is a collection of nine heterogeneous, wonderfully genial, blatantly stupid, wildly grinding, ludicrously funky, totally metal yet also totally non-metal tracks, guaranteed to throw any even mildly sane mind off balance. Track titles such as "Yes! We have no bananas" or "Daaahhh", say it all, really. Blasting, keyboard-laden (yet somehow totally unsymphonic) grinding segues abruptly disintegrate into funky beats with (I suppose) wittingly silly clear vocals, delirious operatic female chants, before breaking down further into pure Cannibal Corpse-style blasting assaults, complete with groovy disco handclaps in the background -- all this, of course, in the space of 30 seconds flat. Sounds bizarre? Believe me, you haven't a clue. Whereas tracks such as the delirious Sup cover "1308.JP.08" or the catchy "Gang Bang" are potential metal hits in the vein of farcically redesigned Faith No More, the very tongue-in-cheek "Don't be happy, worry" is a journey into shape-shifting weirdness you could happily groove / headbang / tap a light foot beat / stagedive / breakdance / mosh to. I'm clueless about the side-effects of prolonged exposure to Carnival in Coal, but I suspect they are one of the reasons why I woke up this morning, madly in love with a goddamn penguin. Help.

(article published 14/1/2002)

5/25/2000 P Schwarz 7 Carnival in Coal - French Cancan
3/14/1999 D Rocher 7 Carnival in Coal - Vivalavida
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