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4.34 | 57 ratings | 5 reviews
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Album · 1991

Filed under Death Metal


1. Inpropagation (7:09)
2. Corporal Jigsore Quandary (5:50)
3. Symposium of Sickness (6:58)
4. Pedigree Butchery (5:18)
5. Incarnated Solvent Abuse (5:02)
6. Carneous Cacoffiny (6:45)
7. Lavaging Expectorate of Lysergide Composition (4:05)
8. Forensic Clinicism / The Sanguine Article (7:10)

Total Time: 48:18


- Michael Amott / Lead guitar, additional vocals
- Ken Owen / Drums, additional vocals
- Bill Steer / Lead guitar, all rhythm guitar tracks, vocals
- Jeff Walker / Bass, lead vocals

About this release

Release date: October 30, 1991
Label: Earache Records

Produced by Colin Richardson
Mixed by Carcass & Colin Richardson
Engineered by Keith Hartley
Assistants - Ian McFarlane, Dave Buchanan
Recorded at Amazon Studios, Simonswood

Thanks to UMUR, Unitron, diamondblack for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

"Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious" is the 3rd full-length studio album by UK, Liverpool based death metal/grindcore act Carcass. The album was released through Earache Records in October 1991. It´s the successor to "Symphonies of Sickness" from 1989 and it features one lineup change since the predecessor as Swedish guitarist Michael Amott has joined Carcass, making the band a four-piece on "Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious". Before joining Carcass, Amott had been an instrumental part of the early Swedish death metal scene with Carnage. A band which released one of the early Swedish death metal albums in "Dark Recollections (1990)".

Right off the bat the new four-piece lineup have great impact on Carcass sound. While "Symphonies of Sickness (1989)" showed great progression from "Reek of Putrefaction (1988)", by incorporating death metal heaviness and brutality to the goregrind intensity of the debut album, it´s nothing against what has happened between "Symphonies of Sickness (1989)" and "Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious". The gory (and almost completely impossible to understand) lyrical subjects, the combination of high pitched aggressive snarling and deep growling grunts, and the occasional blast beat, are elements the two albums have in common, but other than that Carcass have made a lot of changes on "Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious" compared to the predecessor.

The tracks are composed with more focus on catchy riffs/rhythms and melodic hooks in mind. Not that this is easily accessible music in any way, but it´s still quite melodic at times and there are several really strong recognisable moments featured on the album. A powerful catchy vocal phrase, a melodic guitar solo (on an interesting sidenote, all guitar solos on the album have been given titles), or a memorable death/thrashy riff or drum pattern (like the drum intro to "Corporal Jigsore Quandary"). All elements which make the listening experience a more memorable one. The tracks generally require some spins before they sink in though, and it has a lot to do with the complexity of the song structures, which may feature vers/chorus like sections, but often go way beyond that "regular" structure. Sometimes to a point where you can call the song structures progressive.

In addition to the very well written material, the high level performances, and the brutal and powerful Colin Richardson production, "Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious" also features something else which defines it and that´s its dark and sick atmosphere. The short intro samples, which appear between most tracks on the album, of medical examiners/coroners speaking about decaying flesh, skeletal remains, and identifying decomposed bodies, provide exactly the right atmosphere for the music to shine. It´s one of those releases where the tracklist and the overall flow of the album are constructed almost perfectly.

The album is more or less one long highlight, but I´d still like to mention "Inpropagation" and "Incarnated Solvent Abuse" as some of the standout tracks (the latter is the Carcass track I will always tell people to listen to first if they are new to the band and want to explore them). Upon conclusion "Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious" is a high quality release through and through and to my ears the artistic peak of Carcass discography. Carcass may have refined and perfected their sound on "Heartwork (1993)" and thereby brought a more accessible appeal to their music, but they were never able to bring the gloomy and vile atmosphere of "Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious" with them, in my opinion they lost a bit of their magic because of it. "Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious" is a unique piece of extreme metal and a 5 star (100%) rating is fully deserved.
Vim Fuego
Michael Schenker once said that when punks finally learned to play their instruments, the music would be called metal. Whether he was being facetious or remarkably astute, he was correct. Carcass, with roots firmly planted in the fledgling mid-80s grindcore scene, created ‘Necroticism: Descanting The Insalubrious’, an album widely hailed as one of the all-time greats in death metal. The progress in the years since the release of the bloody pulp of ‘Symphonies Of Sickness’ and the indecipherable white noise of ‘Reek Of Putrefaction’ was remarkable. The punks had indeed learned to play their instruments. Because the band approached the music from a different background to traditional death metal bands, Carcass were not constrained by its invisible but impenetrable boundaries, and “Necroticism…” is not strictly a pure death metal album, but contains a grindcore component. Carcass’ 1987 debut album ‘Reek Of Putrefaction’ was a balls-out one-riff-per-song blast, with only one song passing the three minute mark, while many were considerably shorter, as was the old grindcore tradition. Fast forward to 1992 and the band’s songwriting and composition skills had developed to the point where songs were now six or seven minutes. Riff after riff was strung together, like a DNA double helix. Carcass adapted many songwriting conventions, like introductions, and rudimentary choruses, but part of the charm of this album is the delight they took in throwing in an unexpected blast passage or discordant solo. Ken Owen’s drumming in particular had matured from frenzied flailing, where he seemed to hit as many drums as possible as rapidly as he could, to a powerful, fluid and accurate sound, part death, part grind.

Part of the problem (or part of the appeal, depending on how you look at it) with Carcass’ first two albums was the indistinct guitar sound. It was loud and blurred, and so poorly defined it is near on impossible to hear what Bill Steer was playing, but was probably true to the band’s live sound at the time. However, producer Colin Richardson reassembled Carcass’ wall of noise on this album, brick by brick, so the riffs and solos shared and traded by Steer and new boy Michael Amott are crisp and clear, yet heavy and menacing. The opening passage of “Lavaging Expectorate Of Lysergide Composition” bounces along like an Iron Maiden riff on steroids.

Many bands missed the point of Carcass’ lyrics and copied the gore theme while trying to be as offensive as possible. Jeff Walker’s lyrics have a hidden depth to them. Yes, there are horrific gory passages, which are designed to shock. Behind the medical dictionary verbosity though, lies a witty, satirical sense of humour. Each song has a story to tell. Opener “Inpropagation” is a tale of using human remains as fertiliser. “Incarnated Solvent Abuse” is a recipe for creating glue from rendered down corpses, while “Lavaging Expectorate Of Lysergide Composition” explains how to get high from chemicals created by decaying bodies. Perhaps most repugnant is “Pedigree Butchery”, in which human babies are processed as dog food, with wonderful lines like “Rheological, twisted nursery chymes/The fluxing of the defleshed/Paedophilosophical, carnage knowledge/As the illegitimate to the domesticated is fed”. The lyrics are still completely indecipherable without a lyric sheet, while Walker took on a bulk of the vocal duties, rather than the three way sharing of the previous albums.

The overall sound of this album was far removed from Carcass’ early albums, and quite a distance from most death metal bands of the time, except perhaps Bolt Thrower. Before ‘Necroticism: Descanting The Insalubrious’, Carcass had been a bit of a cult band in death metal circles, too chaotic to gain wide acceptance, but their perverse lyrical bent was much appreciated. After this album’s release however, all things gory and grindy in the underground were loudly professing their love for Carcass. So imposing is this album that few bands have ever tried to imitate it’s sound, and none have ever succeeded, not even Carcass.
Here there's little to no sign of the grindcore sound that Carcass made their name with on their previous albums; instead, this journey through a mortician's thesaurus is in a solid death metal style with the occasional more traditional metal-sounding guitar solo. The band regard this as a "progressive" album, but whilst the lyrics are certainly verbose in a Tales From Topographic Oceans sort of way musically speaking the technicality on display here is pretty simple compared to the sort of material Death or Atheist or Cynic would be cranking out at around the same time. Still, this is a nice early 90s death metal album which doesn't embarrass itself when set next to contemporary releases from Deicide or Morbid Angel.
This is the album that really put Carcass into the metal world as legends and icons.

Before then...Carcass where a pinoeering band in the grindcore scene, and I have to admit, they really puhsed boundaries in that genre and also made England a more preductive place for metal.

But they soon adopted a new and more smarter style of songwriting. Now the songs on this album are quite lengthy, with some even going past the 6 minute mark into a 7 minute head melter. And whilst listening to this album, one thing was churning through my head...this is quite proggy in a weird way.

Now progressive death metal...a new genre of its own which turns up now and then, when listening to it, you can make many comparisons to Carcass during this period. Yes Carcass where experementing alot, and it can be heard in their songwriting, and to be honest...this style is one of my favourites ouf of Carcass experiments.

I prefer Heartwork to this album, mainly cause Heartwork is perfect and flawless...but this is album is a close contender. This album isn't flawless, cause not much is, but to be honest, this album is incredibly enjoyable and its a very interesting experience.

1. Inpropogation - Very dark, eerie and atmospheric intro. Full of exciting twists and turns. Almost progressive in an odd way. 10/10

2. Corporal Jigsore Quandary - This is the famous intro...that Trivium stole (to be honest, if you are gonna "steal" something, you might as well steal from Carcass). It's just a death metal classic really. 10/10

3. Symposium Of Sickness - Has quite a blackened death metal feel to it. Amazing blastbeats and riffs. 9/10

4. Pedigree Butchery - Great odd twists and turns. Proves that death metalcan be very dynamic and interesting. 9/10

5. Incarnated Solvent Abuse - One of their greatest riffs. Very diverse and exciting. Great images condured. 10/10

6. Carneous Cacoffiny - One of their best lyrical moments. Very diverse with some kick ass riffs. 10/10

7. Lavaging Expectorare Of Lysergide Composition - A mainly instrumental based song. Very diverse and interesting. 9/10

8. Forensic Clinicism / The Sanguine Article - Great lyrics. A completel step forward from their first 2 albums. Great arrangement. 10/10

CONCLUSION: This is the seeds of pure melodic death metal. And these seeds kick ass :D
Time Signature
Metallic Clinicism...

Genre: progressive death metal

This is no less than a masterpiece. The lyrics are still clinically gory and kind of silly (in a humorous and charming way, of course), dealing with various eays of disposing of dead bodies.

The music is brilliant, combining face ripping blastbeats and death metal shred riffs with complex riffs (as the opening riff of "Pedigree Butchery") and even melodic riffs ("Incarnated Solvent Abuse" contains a riff which might as well have occurred in 2000s melodic death metal). The songs are relatively long on this album and all songs are complex containing several changes in tempo, key, style and other twists and turns (Carcass allegedly even "stole" some Beethoven parts and used them in their own songs).

Notable songs are "Corporal Jigsore Quandary" (my favorite), "Symposium of Sickness", "Pedigree Butchery", "Incarnated Solvent Abuse", and the aptly titled, "Lavaging Expectorate of Lysergide Composition".

I consider this album a death metal masterpiece and recommend it to anyone who likes death metal and technical/progressive extreme metal.

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