Carnivore was a crossover thrash metal band from Brooklyn, NY, they were active from 1982 until 1990. The band was fronted by vocalist/bassist/songwriter Peter Steele and formed from the ashes of Steele’s previous band, Fallout (13), which also included Carnivore drummer Louis Beateaux. The original band had guitarist Keith Alexander, who was replaced in 1986 by Marc Piovanetti. This band was over the top, wild and controversial on stage.
Carnivore released 2 albums and often came under fire for their lyrical content, which critics deemed as sexist, racist, and/or anti-religious, although most of the band’s songs were done tongue-in-cheek and meant to push the listeners button. The band also had ties to Agnostic Front. Steele contributed lyrics to AF’s 1986 LP “Cause For Alarm”, which also featured Louis Beateaux playing drums. After Carnivore’s split, Steele formed Subzero which would later become Type O Negative. Type O Negative’s first album, “Slow, Deep, And Hard”, featured material partially written for Carnivore.
In 2006, Steele resurrected the band with a whole new line-up for live shows.
Original Carnivore guitarist Keith Alexander died in July, 2005 in a bicycle accident.
Peter Steele died in April, 2010, from heart failure. Peter Steele is gone, but his epic legacy is not forgotten.
The first album is more traditional metal, drawing inspiration from Black Sabbath and 1970s Judas Priest, while the second has significant crossover influence. The ‘post-apocalyptic’ theme that dominated the first album and spread partially into the second album was apparently based on a dream Pete Steele had that became the basis for the lyrics of “Predator”. All other lyrical themes are said to compliment the environment of humanity or lack there of, between World Wars 3 and 4.
Both albums are in the speed-thrash genre. The lyrical themes include nihilism, anti-religious sentiment, racism, intolerance, and general human stupidity, a heap of cynicism, and explicit depictions of gore and despair. For example, this line from “Ground Zero Brooklyn” sums up the band fairly well: “I shit my pants as I wait for the reaper!”. Song titles and lyrical themes like “Jesus Hitler”, “Race War”, and “God is Dead” are also representative of their humour, dry wit and dumbed-down intelligence explaining the fate of humanity. Some would argue that their lyrics inflame prejudice among minorities, others would say they highlight the futility of such attitudes.
Reunion and new album On April 24, 2006, German Rock Hard Magazine stated that another reunion show was announced to take place at Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany which followed a US tour.