CARCASS — Reek of Putrefaction

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CARCASS - Reek of Putrefaction cover
2.95 | 18 ratings | 5 reviews
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Album · 1988

Filed under Goregrind
By CARCASS

Tracklist

1. Genital Grinder (1:32)
2. Regurgitation of Giblets (1:24)
3. Maggot Colony (1:37)
4. Pyosisified (Rotten to the Gore) (2:55)
5. Carbonized Eye Sockets (1:11)
6. Frenzied Detruncation (0:59)
7. Vomited Anal Tract (1:45)
8. Festerday (0:22)
9. Fermenting Innards (2:35)
10. Excreted Alive (1:21)
11. Suppuration (2:19)
12. Foeticide (2:46)
13. Microwaved Uterogestation (1:24)
14. Feast on Dismembered Carnage (1:27)
15. Splattered Cavities (1:54)
16. Psychopathologist (1:18)
17. Burnt to a Crisp (2:43)
18. Pungent Excruciation (2:31)
19. Manifestation of Verrucose Urethra (1:02)
20. Oxidised Razor Masticator (3:12)
21. Mucopurulence Excretor (1:09)
22. Malignant Defecation (2:15)

Total Time: 39:47

Line-up/Musicians

- Jeff Walker / Bass, Vocals
- Bill Steer / Guitar, Vocals
- Ken Owen / Drums, Vocals

About this release

Release date: June 1988
Label: Earache Records

The original meat collage cover artwork was banned and replaced by a less offensive cover artwork.

Thanks to UMUR, diamondblack, Vim Fuego for the updates

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CARCASS REEK OF PUTREFACTION reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

siLLy puPPy
While the 80s was finding heavy metal to be catching on amongst the public, a few sick minds were going places that Mötley Crüe and Bon Jovi wouldn’t have dared! As thrash, death and doom metal were in their nascency, so too was another fledgling subgenre in the metal universe. Coming out of the same English city as the Beatles, Liverpool was a much grimier place than in the 60s and the members of CARCASS were busy stitching together all the most extreme elements of thrash, noise rock and hardcore punk to create their new uneasy listening experience. Although their early pioneering sound has been tagged as splatter death metal, hardgore and goregrind, the style has become universally known as grindcore, and just one look at the album cover collage of autopsy photos of their debut album REEK OF PUTREFACTION is enough to signal a very sick and disturbed musical experience awaits whoever dares play this one!

The band’s roots go back to the days when Bill Steer (guitarist) and Ken Owen (drummer) played together in a school band which led to Steer joining the D-beat punk band Disattack. After a few lineup changes in Disattack, the band changed its name to CARCASS but kept a lot of the punk influences as they sashayed their aggressive noise into metal territory. The new style was fairly original at the time with only Napalm Death even close to where they were going. Their debut album REEK OF PUTREFACTION perfectly displays a midway point between the hardcore and crust punk in the vein of Discharge alongside other angry punk rockers of the early 80s with the early old school death metal sounds that were emerging from the other side of the pond. REEK OF PUTREFACTION was an instant hit on the UK Indie Chart and thus CARCASS was one of the pioneering bands for ushering in a whole new wave of extreme metal above and beyond the more mainstream metal bands dominating the pop charts.

REEK OF PUTREFACTION is one of those albums that i have a love / hate relationship with. On one hand i totally dig the complete anarchic musical experience that has been laid down. The birth of grindcore was a messy affair with the lo-fi indie underground production values made all the more filthy sounding via down-tuned guitar abrasiveness, overdriven bass and blastbeat drum freneticism. The tempos can be blitzkrieg lightning fast or sort of meander on slow burn. Borrowing from the punk playbook, CARCASS adopted the “microsong” approach with no less than 22 songs laid out in the short playing time of 39min 47sec. I also totally love the beautifully titled “Genital Grinder,” “Maggot Colony,” “Microwaved Uterogestation” and “Manifestation Of Verrucose Urethra!” Oh, it’s just so wrooooong, but in a right way ;) On the second hand, REEK comes off as a grandiose experiment that was meant to create a certain reaction but doesn’t quite leave an invitation for repeated visits. Innovative for sure, pleasurable rarely. Luckily CARCASS would continue to evolve and soon become one of the most memorable melodic death metal bands of the 90s but for album number one, a quite memorable but only occasional interesting listening experience.
Unitron
Carcass-Reek of Putrefaction

'Reek of Putrefaction' is the debut studio album by grindcore/death metal band Carcass. Carcass is most likely better known for their later death metal offerings, especially 'Heartwork' which is often said to be among the first melodic death metal albums. However, Carcass started out as one of the early grindcore bands with highly gory lyrics that is typical of a lot of grindcore.

Like most Grindcore, all of the songs are extremely short and violent with the average song length ranging from 1-3 minutes. While there is no shortage of brutal grindcore attacks, 'Reek of Putrefaction' already has death metal elements in their sound as heard in the great opener 'Genital Grinder'. This one and a half minute long song begins with droning guitar, but soon picks up with driving riffs that would not sound out of place on one of Carcass's later releases. The opening four songs are actually probably my favorites, they all have a pretty good balance between brutal grind drum pounding, crashing guitars, and the slower driving death-oriented passages. The other standout track for me is 'Burnt to a Crisp', which has a good combination of driving guitar and vocal snarls.

As many other reviewers have said, the production on this album is pretty bad. I'm usually pretty tolerant of productions, but I have to be in the right mood to be able to enjoy the music here. It really can be hard to enjoy it sometimes when the production is so murky and muffled. There is also quite the amount of filler. When I reviewed Nasum's 'Inhale/Exhale' I stated how the songs went by quickly but were complex and really packed a punch, however, these songs are of similar length but feel much longer then they really are. A lot of the songs are also pretty repetitive, which doesn't work too well for an album with over 20 songs.

Overall, this album has it's ups and downs. The first few tracks and some of the later songs like 'Burnt to a Crisp' are really catchy, and easily enjoyable if you can get past the production. I do recommend this album for those interested in hearing some early examples of grindcore and can deal with a muffled production. However, it's clear that Carcass would get better with each new release. Hope you found this review helpful.

Feel free to comment!
arcane-beautiful
Alot of people complain about the production work of this album...but compared to their demo...this is sound qulaity at its best.

Now grindcore usually is supposed to have bad production quality...its just the way it is...its to keep the punk element quality alive, which is the interpretation through the art...although some people leave their hats at the door when art and music are combined.

This is a strong grindcore album...comparing it to Scum by Napalm Death, Scum is favoured alot...but Carcass did add their own flair to the grindcore seen...with some stoner, death metal and less punk to their music.

In the 80's when everything was incredibly overdone...the grindcore scene really was a push foward...and thanks to John Peel and other followers, it really blossomed into something interesting.

As grindcore goes this isn't too bad...the prouduction is pretty good for a grind album and as a debut, its pretty impressive.

Ohh and the artwork is cool...and the lyrics are also very interested (if you're into gore and all haha)

1. Genital Grinder - Good intro. Production is a bit muddy. 8/10

2. Regurgitation Of Giblets - Great riffs and some cool vocals. Classic example of grind. 10/10

3. Maggot Colony - Some interesting riffs and sections. Killer vocals. 9/10

4. Pyosisfied (Rotten To The Gore) - Killer main riff. Very interesting arrangement with some punky and stoner moments. 9/10

5. Carbonized Eyesockets - Killer vocals. Just crazy as hell. 10/10

6. Frenzied Detruncation - Very mind melting. 8/10

7. Vomited Anal Tract - It does sound like vomit haha. 10/10

8. Festerday - Killer blast beats. I love how short and quick the song is. 10/10

9. Fermenting Innards - Quite punky. Sometimes the guitar is too muddy in the mix. 8/10

10. Excreted Alive - Nice riffs and a cool guitar solo. 8/10

11. Suppuration - Love the chorus. A very frantic song. I love how raw the guitar sounds and how it at times goes offbeat with the drums. 10/10

12. Foeticide - Great arrangment. Jeff's vocals are amazing. 10/10

13. Microwaved Uterogestation - Love the chorus. The time changes are pretty cool too. 10/10

14. Feast On Dismembered Carnage - I love how the vocals are manipualted in the song. 10/10

15. Splattered Cavities - A very frantic & head crushing song. A bit scary at times. 10/10

16. Psychopatholigist - Great lyrics. Some cool riffs and crazy tempos. Cool evil vocals at times. 10/10

17. Burnt To A Crisp - Pretty cool vocals and arrangement. I love Jeff's wee scream at the start. 9/10

18. Pungent Excruciation - Interesting guitar solos. I love that heavy bass sound. 8/10

19. Manifestation Of Verrucose Urethra - Some cool moments with some nice guitar work. 8/10

20. Oxidised Razor Masticator - Cool arrangement, but pretty generic. 8/10

21. Mucopurelence Excretor - Nice and quick :D 9/10

22. Malignant Defecation - Great intro. Odd arrangment throughout. 9/10

CONCLUSION: This album isn't their best and its not the best grindcore album I've heard
UMUR
"Reek of Putrefaction" is the debut full-length studio album by UK goregrind act Carcass. The album was released through Earache Records in July 1988. Carcass was formed back in 1985 by drummer Ken Owen and guitarist Bill Steer under the name Disattack. In the beginning they played D-beat style hardcore punk (imitation style of the hardcore punk act Discharge). A couple of other people also went through the lineup in those early years, the most important being bassist Jeff Walker who would stay with the band. A guy called Sanjiv handled the vocals. Around 1987 they changed the band name to Carcass. Bill Steer shortly joined Napalm Death for the recording of the "Scum (1987)" album but was still a member of Carcass. Before entering the studio to record "Reek of Putrefaction", vocalist Sanjiv had left Carcass and the three remaining members shared the vocal duties on the album. Thus the classic goregrind vocal style was born. Bill Steer handles the deep grunts/growls, Jeff Walker handles the aggressive higher pitched snarling and Ken Owen occasionally joins in with a gurgling kind of growling vocal style.

The music on the album is filthy and extremely badly produced grindcore/hardcore with gore themed lyrics. There are 22 tracks on the album and they are all relatively short (most between 1 - 3 minutes in length). Song titles like "Genital Grinder", "Vomited Anal Tract", "Feast On Dismembered Carnage" and "Carbonized Eye Sockets" are the order of the day. While the music is mostly blasting away in a very fast pace, there are actually plenty of mid-paced sections too. Had the production been just a little less muddy some of these tracks might actually have sounded pretty good. Carcass re-recorded "Pyosisified (Rotten to the Gore)" for the "Tools of the Trade (1992)" EP and that version of the track is great, which pretty much proves my point, that it´s not the material that´s sub par in quality, but the raw, and amaturish sound production, which doesn´t allow the material to shine.

It might be hard to believe when listening to the primitive and noisy grindcore attack on the album, but "Reek of Putrefaction" is widely regarded as one of the most influential albums in extreme metal and a seminal album in the goregrind genre. Hundreds, maybe thousands of imitators and bands that are influenced by the early Carcass sound, have emerged in the years since this album was released. While history has certainly proved how important this album is, I still feel just about the same regarding the music on the album today as I did back then. The tracks sound too much the same, the sound production makes the album just barely listenable, and the musicianship is untight and sloppy. Somehow the primitive charm that others hear almost completely eludes me. Judged on quality alone a 2 star (40%) rating is fair.
Time Signature
Reek of postmodernism...

Genre: Grindcore

This album is not a very good one, but it's an important one and, in an intellectually artistic perspective an interesting one.

In terms of production, "Reek of Putrefaction" is catastrophic, and the band members themselves have expressed dissatisfaction with the production result and described it a sounding like a washing machine. It really is impossible to hear what is going on, which is a shame, because the breakdowns and those other elements that are audible do suggest that there are a lot of musically interesting things going on. But it all just drowns in noise.

What makes this album important is, of course, that it is a seminal release within the genre of grindcore, serving to more or less create the genre of goregrind. And this is also where "Reek of Putrefaction" is interesting in an artistic perspective, because with its gory lyrics which make use of diction taken from the jargon of clinical anatomy and other medeical disciplines "Reek of Putrefaction" because a sort of a parody on itself (the band members have expressed this, stating that their clinically gory lyrics were merely meant to be humorous). This is a trait of postmodern art, as is the way that Carcass challenge musicality itself with their insane and noisy grindcore songs. Even the cover art (the uncensored version) which is a collage of images of dead and mutilated people, taken from various medical journals and medical textbooks reeks of postmodernism.

This album, while not a good one, is an interesting one, and I think that people with more than just a perceptive interest in art and the postmodernist movement will appreciate this album. Of course, fans of extreme and noisi music will love it.

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