If you were a latecomer to Carcass, and think “Heartwork” was their crowning glory, then steer well clear of this. It will rip your face off, semi–digest and regurgitate the pieces, and then reassemble them in a magnificent unrecognisable mess.
And a magnificent mess this is, on the first listen. However, you will be drawn back to this album repeatedly out of sheer morbid curiosity, similar to rubbernecking at a serious motor accident. Later listens show beneath the white noise, Carcass created some incredibly catchy riffs. The gargled vocals are sublime– instantly recognisable and incoherent at the same time. And the lyrics? They are not for the weak stomached, as the graphic and detailed descriptions of all things sick and depraved, and downright unspeakable will have you retching.
The song titles are pure gore soaked genius in themselves. “Cadaveric Incubator Of Endoparasites”, “Swarming Vulgar Mass Of Infected Virulency”, “Excoriating Abdominal Emanation”, “Exhume To Consume”… The list goes on. Most of the lyrics seem to be taken straight from the pages of Gross Anatomy 101, and paint revolting mental images in blood, bile, and any other bodily fluid you could care to name.
There were few clues from this release Carcass would eventually go down the “Heartwork”/”Swansong” path. If you think Metallica's departure from their original sound is a huge jump, listen to this alongside “Heartwork”.
The collage of real–life gore from the cover art saw Earache’s offices raided by the obscene publications department of the police, so all the better if you can find that version. Whatever the cover art, this is a symphony of sickness, pure and simple.