Sound — 8
Even though Salt the Wound was founded back in 2001, it took them 7 years to release a debut album, Carnal Repercussions. Probably those were the numerous line-up changes that slowed them down and seems like this is the band's fate -- after the debut was finished, two more members were replaced. Salt the Wound are playing brutal deathcore mixing it with bits of hardcore and death. It's obvious all the musicians are experienced enough to play that kind of music. Drummer Brandon Tabor reveals some violent drumming, which creates a great back bone for the rest of the instruments. Guitarists Jake Scott and Vince Stropki work perfectly together, complementing each other. There are a few stunning guitar solos on the album -- like the steel guitar solo in Gannon. Gloves is probably the strongest track from the record. This is a galloping song with a lot of break-downs, shouts and a group chorus. It's obvious the band tries to give some character to every track, but they are pretty weak in this yet. In the closing track The End, Salt the Wound try to make something remarkable and... fail. Instead of an interesting mix of melodies it turns out to be a bit boring and long with the melodies not really fitting each other. The guys definitely have a problem with melodies if this is the best they could squeeze out of their long-term collaboration. There's a lot of pressure in the music, and like most records with such intensity, it doesn't run for long -- only for 36 minutes.
Lyrics — 7
The poetry, as it often appears on metal records, is based on three things -- brutality, simple straight-forward lyrics and a bit of swearing. The guys touch some personal subjects and sing in general about how hard it is to struggle through every-day life nowadays. They are trying to use some metaphors in their songs, but it seems like they're not quite sure what to do with them. Gloves is the good example -- it refers to the story in the song. Peas and Carrots is a bad one -- those words only appear in the song title. Salt the Wound are not very inventive when it comes to song titles. The album begins with the track called The Beginning and ends with a track The End. Those are the intro and the outro thought, so this is forgivable. Vocalist Kevin Schaefer virtuously shifts styles within a song. His vocals sound very organic with the music -- with so many computer effects you may as well take it for another instrument!
Overall Impression — 8
Overall I should say that the band did a nice job preparing for their debut -- the record turned out to be full of aggressive energy and sound solid. The instruments are mixed together so well that you can pay attention to all of them, without feeling there is too much guitar or not enough drums. The band was founded 7 years ago with the goal to leave an undeniable mark in the heavy music industry. I would say they're half way through to their goal at this stage -- they have already gained the necessary skills, now they need to find their own niche in the heavy music industry, e.g. to create a seal. In other words -- to differ somehow from a handful of other bands. Their debut Carnal Repercussions proves that Salt the Wound are ambitious enough to reach their goal!