Death Valley Driver – Carnivore’s Oath EP

Yeah, these guys.  Those italics there add further meaning, and here it means they’ve been around here before, and we’re proud to have them around again.  That’s because death n roll isn’t really a very pronounced genre, and there’s a reason for that.  Mixing death metal grind with classic hard rock is a real challenge, since in most cases you’ll come off sounding like an idiot that no one will ever take seriously.  Click on that link, please, and be thankful that’s all you can find about that.  The problem is that combining a genre so well-associated with aggression with another that’s more associated with eating french fries with your beer is almost counterintuitive.  Can one really “rawk” with “death” involved?  Isn’t the latter more about destruction, brutality (whatever that means anymore), and gross cover art that’s typically misogynistic even though the vocalist is a mere four feet in height?  Well, yes, in some respects, but at times it’s possible to combine these things, in spite of having a band name that gives a nod to professional wrestling.  Risky move, boys, risky move.  But hey, those “RKO outta nowhere” vids are pretty hilarious, so we’ll let that go.  For a band name/move that smashes one’s opponent’s head into the ground between your legs with a whiff of man action, Carnivore’s Oath is to suplex to get you out of that and crush those mothers Ophidian the Cobra style.


Last time we expected the worst, this time we expected the best.  And we got the best.  EPs can sometimes slam and then burn in a single song, if anything it’s even a further risk in addition to the above because you don’t have the length of a typical release where the occasional filler can be ignored.  There’s no ignoring a track here, they’re either all good or we vomit all over the thing and don’t even bother to hand it a paper towel after.  So yeah, no messing around with an EP, it needs to rip out eyes and shove them in our ears.  So, did Death Valley Drive do this to us this time around?  You better believe that bro, bruh, breh, or whatever spelling you prefer.  If you checked out their previous work in the first link way above, they’ve taken a slightly different direction here.  You still get that sick, sticky bass and cruddy riff sound, but instead of an approach getting closer to thrash, Death Valley Driver have gone straight for the rawk.


And it’s a rawk of ages.  The production value is much higher in Carnivore’s Oath, but without losing that gross sound that made their previous work so enjoyable.  It opens with what might be a clip from A Virgin Among the Living Dead, though we’re not sure, and then boosh booyah boi, in your face.  Death Valley Driver deals out some sick grinding hard rock with just a slight touch of echo on those vocals so they fly over the heads of the fallen.  And that bass line, daaaaaimmmn, not as sludge as before perhaps, but boy can it coax you under the sheets regardless of age.  The opener isn’t even the winner, and that’s the great thing, because thankfully what follows carries the same general sense of rocking without falling into habit.  Each track has something unique about it, something to discover, and even when these guys sound more like they’re ready to open for ZZ Top, you still know they’d end up scaring the shit out of 2/3 of the crowd.  Excellent job here, they play the death n roll angle without ever getting close to the banal, carrying great riffs, excellent solos, solid vocals (with some cool lyrics, by the way), crushing drums, and just an overall Goddamn fun time to be had.  If this had been a full-length I would have had to tell the wife polygamy was in and married it.


Death Valley Driver Official Facebook 

Written by Stanley Stepanic

Death Valley Driver: Carnivore’s Oath EP
Diminished Fifth Records
5 / 5