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Carcass Choice Cuts

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Carcass - Choice Cuts
01. Genital Grinder
02. Maggot Colony
03. Exhume To Consume
04. Swarming Vulgar Mass Of Infected Virulency
05. Tools Of The Trade
06. Corporal Jigsore Quandary
07. Incarnated Solvent Abuse
08. Buried Dreams
09. No Love Lost
10. Heartwork
11. Keep On Rotting IN The Free World
12. R**k The Vote
13. This Is Your Life
14. Crepitating Bowel Erosion (Peel Sessions 02.01.89)
15. Slash Dementia (Peel Sessions 02.01.89)
16. Cadaveric Incubator Of Endoparasites (Peel Sessions 02.01.89)
17. Reek Of Putrefaction (Peel Sessions 02.01.89)
18. Empathological Necroticism (Peel Sessions 16.12.90)
19. Foeticide (Peel Sessions 16.12.90)
20. Fermenting Innards (Peel Sessions 16.12.90)
21. Exhume To Consume (Peel Sessions 16.12.90)
2004 Earache Records

OUR SCORE
8
Reviewed by: John C.   //   Published: 8/2/2004

Utter the name Carcass, and the ears of discerning metal fans will, for the most part, perk up in excitement. Haven’t heard of them It’s time you did. One of England’s finest metal exports, Carcass turned from reigning gore-grind kings to proficient melodic-metal rockers. Of course, a transformation like this cannot occur without the harsh criticism among fans of underground or independent music. While gore-metal/-grind purists will argue that the seminal unit’s material following its second full-length, Symphonies Of Sickness, went downhill, others will tout the band’s contribution in paving the way for melodic death metal with its Heartwork release. Perhaps Carcass “sold out” its gore constituents for a more-commercial sound (the band was briefly signed to Columbia Records, but both parties parted ways because of artistic differences, causing the band to return to Earache Records and release its final album, Swansong). Or maybe the quartet just decided to mature and evolve from the flesh collages and lyrics pulled from medical dictionaries of its youth.

Regardless, the four-piece clearly left its mark on the metal world. Along comes Choice Cuts, a best of Carcass compilation that attempts to document the full spectrum of the band’s extensive career. Originally slated for a 1999 release, the album was shelved by Earache, at the request of the band’s members following drummer Ken Owen’s incapacitating brain hemorrhage that left him coma-stricken for 10 months. After a long road of rehabilitation and recovery, Owen, in coordination with Earache (singer/bassist Jeff Walker was non-committal to the project), have finally released the CD that also includes tracks from both Peel Sessions broadcast and recorded on The BBC.

“Genital Grinder” and “Maggot Colony,” both from their debut record kick things first. Think of Repulsion or early Napalm Death (incidentally, guitarist Bill Steer played on the first few ND records). It’s fast and grinding, but while bands like ND relied on sheer speed and ferocity, Carcass also included some slower parts and solos that added to the heaviness of its music. Overall, the early material on Reek is low and rumbling, much of which can be attributed to the album’s production values. Some will fault poor mastering for its muddiness, but others will swear that the production is what gave their first album its unique sound. Meanwhile, “Exhume to Consume” and “Swarming Vulgar Mass Of Infected Virulency” come off the unit’s sophomore release, Symphonies Of Sickness. All the musical qualities of Reek still remain here, but the improved production allows you to better experience the grind riffs and blast-beats that made Carcass so dangerous.

“Tools Of The Trade,” as well as Necrotism: Descanting the Insalubrious’s “Corporeal Jigsore Quandary” and “Incarnate Solvent Abuse” somewhat marked the beginning of Carcass’s evolution in sound with the addition guitarist Mike Amott (currently in Arch Enemy), as melody and some rock are balanced with grinding metal.

The final studio tracks exhibit Carcass’s more palatable side. While some grind elements would pop up here and there, the quartet mostly preferred crisp riffing, melody, big guitar solos, and rock and roll. As a result, the group shed a bulk of its grind/gore image for a more efficient and cleaner (and commercially viable) brand of metal on Heartwork, and then Swansong.

The bonus songs that close out the record, as mentioned earlier, are taken from two Peel Session performances by Carcass, and are tracks mostly from its first two releases.

Bottom Line: To fully appreciate the talent Carcass wielded, and the impact and influence it had on the metal world, one would truly have to listen to every release because each record is individually great in its own way. And while it’s difficult to capture the magnitude of Carcass on just one disc, Choice Cuts serves as an adequate appetizer for those unfamiliar with the band’s material, and a decent attempt in capturing its over-10 year career. Diehard fans may want to pass this one up (unless its for discography completion purposes), but strangers to Carcass will want to pick up and enjoy this tasty morsel of swarming maggot-covered, pus-filled duodenum (sorry, I had to slip in at least one gore reference).

Comments
united_ninety_three_   posted 4/16/2006 10:52:39 PM
i've read alot of shit reviews about this album, but john's seems to have nailed the peen right in the twat. carcass was/is beyond essential to music, but this album on the otherhand doesn't serve too necessary, even as a starting point. just buy symphonies and necroticism.
ELJustin_   posted 8/17/2004 5:15:25 PM
Good review, Carcass rules
fuk_   posted 8/3/2004 1:53:10 AM
no read just reply