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Carcass has a pretty genre defining career. They were one of the first grindcore bands, THE first goregrind band, and one of the founders of melodic death metal. Well of their genre defining releases, this one falls under the grindcore. It shows much less of the goregrind characteristics that are created on “Symphonies of Sickness” and goes for a much more straight forward grindcore sound.
The songs differ from their second album in many ways. There isn’t as much variation, like I said; this is pretty much straight grindcore. “Genital Grinder” is the opener and it is an instrumental. This song does a fantastic job in letting you know what you’re in for, pure grind. “Regurgitation of Giblets” is an amazing song that is blast beats throughout the whole song. The songs differ from other grindcore bands like Napalm Death because while they still use a lot of blast beats, they also use slower parts to change it up every now and then. It’s kind of a foreshadowing of what’s to come on “Symphonies”. Napalm Death was pretty much fast all the time with some exceptions but Carcass never seemed to go full speed all the time.
The vocals on this album are a much rawer form of the trio of Jeff Walker, Bill Steer, and Ken Owen. Ken’s pitch-shifted parts are much more out of control and sound odd, probably because of the terrible production. Bill sounds pretty much the same as he usually does. He also seems to sing more on this release, it kind of seems like he is the lead vocalist on this album where Jeff seems to take over lead on later albums. Jeff Walker’s highs are not nearly as perfected as they are on “Symphonies”. He still has his vomit-ish noises he does so well but they are much more random on this album. It kind of seems like Jeff hadn’t 100% figured out his vocal style, listen to “Burnt to A Crisp”.
The production is just awful. The production is extremely raw and not really for the better. The guitars are there but pretty quiet. The bass, when you can hear it, sounds pretty lame but honestly, it probably sounds the best out of all the instruments. The drums are quiet and just sound terrible. The snare is flat, the cymbals are quiet and sound like crap, and the bass drum seems to do random things that don’t go with what is being played sometimes. The vocals sound pretty good though. They are above the music like they should be. My only complaint is the pitch-shifter they used sounds like horrible. And they seem to use it a lot more on this album.
The riffs on this album, when you can tell what they are doing are actually good. Bill Steer is a master of the art of grindcore. Everything he does in Carcass and what he did in Napalm is pretty much pure gold, except his solos. Bill has even admitted he didn’t really know how to play solos at the time this was made, so what he does is make random squealing noises. I guess they fit with the terrible production but still, they are pretty bad. Other than that and considering the circumstances that this album was under when they made it, Bill does an amazing job.
The rhythm consists of Ken Owen on drums and Jeff Walker on bass. The bass pretty much follow the guitars. It has a few standouts, (Malignant Defecation), but doesn’t do anything to wow. The drums are very sloppy. Compared to his drumming on later albums, this drumming is shit. His blast beats seem like he doesn’t have the stamina to keep up sometimes. His fills are average at best. And there is no double bass like on “Symphonies”; but know how badly everything went while they were recording, I try not to be too hard on them. Ken really shows how good he is, just not on this album.
The lyrics are straight gore. To me, it seems like they did all the killing on this album, left the bodies to rot, then dissected and ate them on the second album. The medical pathology is still there, a lot of words I don’t understand and would need a medical dictionary to learn them. They were still intelligent but not to the levels they were on the later albums.
This album is pure grindcore. If you like “Heartwork” and later, you will probably hate this album. If you like “Necroticism”, you will still probably hate this album. If you like “Symphonies of Sickness” you might like this album. Or if you just wanna know what Carcass sounded like as a pure grindcore act, check this out.
I would give it a better rating but the production…yea, I’ve explained it pretty well.
Best tracks – “Regurgitation of Giblets”, “Vomited Anal Tract”, and “Splattered Cavities”