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CARCASS
CARCASS
Symphonies Of Sickness
(Earache Records)
67:17min

Someone has to tell Jeff Walker and Bill Steer to stop pissing on their early discography. CARCASS may be an institution now, but that doesn't mean they're free of error. Contrary to what they'd have you believe over in CARCASS camp, the band did not come into its own on "Necroticism". That was, in fact, when their truest fans started looking askance. No one would have dared second guess the band on "Symphonies Of Sickness", however. That album, with "Reek Of Putrefaction", won them the entire Death Metal underground, and for good reason. Picture a deranged medical pathologist performing an autopsy on a leper in a back alley somewhere far beneath the sewer, and you have a fairly apt idea of what the guitars sound like. CARCASS' riffs do tend to meander along reptitively from time to time, but the filthy, putrescent production both rescues and enhances the fury of those riffs. CARCASS obviously learned a few lessons from earlier Metal bands and put those lessons to more extensive use later on, but as "Symphonies Of Sickness" suggests, they were fully immersed in developing Grindcore and Death Metal. NAPALM DEATH, XYSMA and REPULSION are some of the few bands who were on, relatively, the same musical wave lenghts as CARCASS at the time. Even if you aren't a CARCASS fan, you should at least listen to this album for its historical value. The audio side of this dual disc also features the 6 songs of 1988's "Symphonies Of Sickness" demo as a bonus, while the DVD side has part II of the CARCASS history "The Pathologist's Report" on offer, packaged in the usual deluxe digipak format. www.myspace.com/carcass, www.earache.com

Nathan Shapiro

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