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An interesting medley - 81%

langstondrive, October 4th, 2004

This odds and sods from the kings of death/grind works in a sort of reverse order, with the newer songs coming first, gradually leading to the older cuts and reduxes of classic songs. A couple of tracks repeat, such as Edge of Darkness and Rot N' Roll, which kind of pisses me off, becuase they're essentially the exact same with the production being a minor difference. The most surprising thing about this compliation is the quality of the songs that didn't make the actual albums, most notably the Swansong selections. Sure, Blood Stained Banner sounds similar to Black Star at parts, but it really is a quality fucking song. The same goes for Emotional Flatline, which sounds much more evil and "metal" than many of its Swansong contemporaries.

The band themselves are in top shape for the songs, and the production is excellent for the most part, with the last few songs mildly blowing goat. As for the actual songs, Ever Increasing Circles has some awesome riffs, but lame lyrics, which is strange for a band like Carcass. The lyrics seem to go to the rhythm of R**k The Vote, but not nearly as effective. Honestly, they almost ruin an otherwise killer song. Ah yes, Blood Splattered Banner, the breadwinner of the Swansong material. That riff at the beginning of the song is ABSOLUTELY FUCKING KILLER. It then evolves into a great track, one that I am truly surprised didn't make the actual album. I told you so (blah blah blah) however, I am not surprised of it's failure to make Swansong. The riffs are rockish, the lyrics are complete shit (I can't stand repetition like that in the verses).

Thankfully, the Heartwork leftovers start here, with Buried Dreams crashing in with a really cool intro, then morphing into a great riff, and an extremely pissed off Jeff Walker. No Love Lost is another alternate version, with a lengthy drum/bass intro, before evolving into a pretty neat sounding riff that begs to be headbanged to. The first version of Rot N' Roll is next, with a thrashy 80's Megadeth style riff propelling the intro, which turns into a riff that sounds like satan himself picked up a guitar and chugged it out, before turning thrashy again. An awesome song. The next version of Edge of Darkness is very similar to it's predecessor, but with far more annoying and excentuated pinch harmonics in it's intro. This is Your Life picks things back up with a commanding intro riff and thrashy yet melodic elements throughout. The other Rot N' Roll is the same. Skip. Then...where did this come from??? Tools of the Trade kicks the shit out of the listener with one of the faster Carcass songs and comes totally unexpected after listening to another Edge of Darkness.

The next few songs are old style, with a production that emulates the classic Carcass, and even featues vocals from Bill Steer himself. They are all excellent and grindish, with the absolute highlight being Genital Grinder II. What a fucking riff. That main riff of this song has got to be the most evil riff in existence.

Overall a good complation, but buy it as a topping to your Carcass sundae.