Carcass - Symphonies Of Sickness
Carcass' second full length effort, Symphonies Of Sickness
, released in 1989 followed their disgusting debut Reek Of Putrefaction
. Symphonies Of Sickness
took the sound Carcass achieved on thier debut and refined and defined it, with a better production and a more mature (yet exquisitely immature) sound.
First off, this album sounds great; the sound coming from that guitar is saturated and definable but still totally crushing. There are myriads of great riffs thrown out by this guitar, hell even some great melodies crawl through the mud and rear their monstrous head on this masterpiece. The drums have a great sound, a range of beats from a talented drummer is what we have on offer here that fit the music well and help to give it direction. The could be appreciated better if it was a little higher in the mix but that sunken wall of noise sounds great nonetheless. Every member of the band contributes on vocals, so that means we get a range of deranged voices on here. There's the low, demonic utterings usually speaking quickly of disembowelment and sorts, the growls, the sore-throat-screams, everything. All the voices sound aptly abominable accompanying the equally revolting lyrics; which those of us with a sick sense of humour will enjoy immensly.
This album was a very influental one; and not without good reason. They showed everyone how to create a repugnant album, complete with vulgar lyrics and outrageous artwork; which is no mean feat. One of the great things about this album is that it actually lives up to it's own hype
. Yes, many would argue that while Metallica inspired millions with the release of Master Of Puppets
, their true masterpiece came before that; but pretty much everyone agrees that this is a near perfect death/grind album and which no one dares denounce.
Well what about the songs you say? My favourite is 'Empathologal Necroticism'; starting off with some crushing chordwork and skin-bashing courtesy of Ken Owen, it soon moves towards a riff that carries a hint of melody underneath the sickening vocals. Unison between the different vocal styles are used effectively in different places throughout this track; and the opposing styles are also used to compliment and contradict each other. There's a delicious section where the speed erupts complete with blast beats and both growls and screams from behind the mic stand. There's also a nice syncopated riff that's only helped by the crushing guitar sound, and of course the amazing vocals. There's a great riff where the guitar takes centre stage and the drums compliment it well, which flows nicely into another riff showcasing that the band can actually write a good song aswell as make you physically sick.
And then there's the song following that one, 'Embryonic Necropsy and Devourement' (what a great name!) that kicks in with it's strange melody before taking into a more conventional Carcass sound with the deep, half-growled vocals over crushing riffs. Or what about the opener, 'Reek Of Putrefaction'? With it's haunting vocal harmony at the beginning before transisting into a brutally heavy riff and sick vocals; and don't forget about the ominous melodic guitar work used later on.
In conclusion, this is a really great album. There's plenty of great riffs and a great overall sound for the album, it inspired a plethora of bands to follow in thier footsteps, it pretty much made the genre what it is. This album is not to be missed if you can tolerate extreme metal, recommended sampler tracks would be 'Reek Of Putrefaction', 'Embryonic Necropsy' and 'Ruptured In Purelence'.