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Honestly... - 30%

Idrownfish, May 24th, 2011

Carcass’ debut album is definitely wicked and rotten, but not in a good way: while the band did have riffs and creativity to invent a whole new genre, the album ends up failing completely. Sorry, but there are no excuses for sounding like shit, and trying to come up with euphemisms would only make the headache caused by listening to this recording worse. This album is not "muddy", it is not "raw" and it is definitely not "atmospheric". It is a structural mess, with good riffs being constantly hidden by clearly unintentional noise walls, and sloopy, unprofessional drumming never failing to ruin what the band's creativity (there is plenty of it) struggles to do. The story behind the birth of this abomination is known by basically every death metal listener: Earache gave Carcass little time to record it, and according to Steer the studio engineer ruined the finishing product. They were barely able to mix anything, and ended up being less than happy with the product they had released. Nobody liked the album, it barely sold one thousand copies, Earache did not release anything else with the band and Carcass split up.

Okay, Carcass did not split up. Actually, the shitty recording sold some copies, enough for the band to… Change grindcore completely. For real, no one would have expected the inaudible guitars (E-string tuned on... B) and the shitty drums to be an actual “revolution”, but a miracle happened. Behind the wall of noise made of echoes and low-as-fuck bass, some people saw creativity. As I mentioned in the last paragraph, it was indeed there: if you ignore the drums, you will see that the vocalist does his job nicely enough and that there are surprisingly varied riffs and chaotic solos. In addition, Carcass tried to make stuff that was never made before: in more than a few songs, the bass becomes the lead, and since it reaches frequencies as low as 30 Hz, these parts end up adding a sick and crazy atmosphere to the music, which was probably intentional.

Unfortunately, the completely messed up production and the poor drumming become increasingly hard to ignore as you progress through the album. It is okay to say that some songs do make weird pictures of slaughtered innocents appear in your mind, but the more you listen to the recording, the more bored you get. Carcass tried to get a point across with this recording, and they would have failed their objective completely if it were not for the metalheads that saw talent where almost no one would see. Thankfully, not everyone is as narrow-minded as I am, because if they were, Jeff Walker would be washing restaurant’s dishes for a living nowadays. I would give this album a rating of 20%, but due to its historical importance, I will increase the rating a little.