Earache/Columbia, 1994 - Mosh 97

heartwork cover Heartwork, as with any Carcass release, once again represents a departure from previously covered musical territory. From the dark introduction to Buried Dreams, through to the energetic chorus of the final track, Death Certificate, the importance of melody is stressed to an even greater extent than on the group's previous work, Necroticism - Descanting the Insalubrious.

heartwork band photo The most obvious change in approach is the number of harmony lines used by the group, including a substantial amount of diatonic harmony, as songs such as the title track feature melodic riffs more reminiscent of Iron Maiden than of Carcass's earlier work. Many of the songs feature simpler song structures than those seen on previous works; No Love Lost makes use of a simple verse-chorus structure to great effect.

Lyrically, the songs reflect Walker's nihilistic views more directly than on the band's previous writing. Although the lyrics are simplified, they ascend to the level of poetry in places. An example is Blind Bleeding the Blind, which makes reference to Shakespeare's macabre tale of murder, Macbeth, and to the classic sociological work, How The Other Half Live:

heart/hand drawing from heartwork

Parched with thirst our cup overfloweth,
With the crimson milk of human blindness.
In charnel towers of ivory besieged,
The bones of subjugation are picked clean.
In barren decadence, tears are the only affluence
Welling eyes are indifferent, as the blind bleed.

Blood and tear - out damn spot out,
The fruits of perpetual decay.
Pouring the salts in open wounds - out damn spot out,
The scars remain, will stay perpetual decay.

Bloody hands never wash clean,
Abject misery to bleed.
Decadence to feed,
Out damn spot out.

The guitar solos remain as expressive as ever. In fact, the album sees the use of a wah-pedal on tracks such as Buried Dreams, as blues influences can be heard more clearly in places.

general information/artwork for the album, or go back to the Carcass page...