Carcass Choice Cuts

Before Arch Enemy/Spiritual Beggars axe-man Michael Amott and Firebird six-stringer Bill Steer watered down their respective aggressions, they were half of the UK’s mighty Carcass, pioneers of goregrind and one of the most brilliant melodic death outfits in metal history. They enjoyed an illustrious and influential career until they rang the death knoll in the late ’90s with their aptly titled Swan Song. This best-of compilation offers a solid cross-section of the band’s evolution from primitive gore-metallists to premier melodic death dealers. "Genital Grinder” and "Maggot Colony” revisit their most primordial grind, replete with unintelligible lyrics and muddy production. "Exhume To Consume,” however, immediately cleans up the production, and the guitar tone — with its tech-y soloing at the bridge before being enveloped by the grind maelstrom — reflects early Nuclear Blast acts Pungent Stench and Dismember. "Swarming Vulgar Mass Of Infected Virulency” offers a more layered approach to their multi-faceted thrash, while "Tools Of The Trade” boasts their famous punk aesthetic with grind choruses. "Corporal Jigsore Quandary” is definitively on the cusp of 1993’s magnum opus Heartwork, and "Incarnated Solvent Abuse” reveals a pivot point in their career when they chose the high road out of the underground and signed with mega-label Columbia Records. "Buried Dreams” and "No Love Lost” (one of the most snarling, ferocious and recognisable "hits” in metal) absolutely wail, due in part to producer Colin Richardson, who scrubbed the guitars, sharpened the drums, and put the vocals up front. Despite its melodic interlude, "Heartwork” is a speed-metal feast. The relatively slower thrash of "Keep On Rotting In The Free World” (with its tambourine and cowbell beats) and "R**k The Vote” alert fans to the Carcass that needs either to change direction or throw in the towel. Two out-of-print Peel Sessions are also included, as is a liner-note interview with drummer Ken Owen. Together with 1996’s Wake Up And Smell The Carcass rarities collection, Choice Cuts verily completes Carcass’ catalogue for fans new and old. (Earache)