I admit that I’m a bad metalhead. I can’t do Cannibal Corpse-esque death metal and I got sucked into Hunter Hunt-Hendrix’ Haptic Void when I listened to his band Liturgy. I hadn’t even listened to a Carcass album before, despite knowing that they’re some of the big dogs in the melodic death metal genre and that they cut a CD in the shape of a brain for their album Swansong.
I began to listen to this album, hoping for the best and expecting the worst, when a magnificent guitar solo emerged from my earphones! This is what they meant by “melodic death metal,” I realized, and as soon as it started the music turned into the rip-roaring thrasher of “Thrasher’s Abattoir”! I thought to myself that if a time traveller brought this album back to the 80s and I were an unhappy teen in that era, I would be listening to this album in my parents’ wood-panelled basement, sulking in my denim jacket and quaffing low-quality beer. I may have even played D&D! The production is crisp and glorious, much unlike the grim and grimy tones you’d hear on a death metal classic like Possessed’s Seven Churches. The guitar tone is bright and shiny, reminiscent of, shall I say, surgical steel. However, I deduct one cool point for Carcass not cutting the CD in the shape of a sinister brain, or something equally brutal, like they did for Swansong. That’s just bad form. (Nuclear Blast, nuclearblast.de) Topher Duguay