Metal Hammer Carcass review

Swansong Review

By Dan Silver; Metal Hammer, 1996

A minute's silence, if you would please.

Having been Britain's most consistently unsung and underrated (death) metal band for the best part of a decade, those charming Carcass chaps have decided to call it a day. As its title suggests, Swansong is their final offering, and, while it's a long way from Reek of Putrefaction, the album still has that unmistakable, corporal odour about it.

Taking its lead from the more, for want of a better word, conventional, structured songwriting approach of 1993's Heartwork, Swansong features prime cuts of chunky, meaty metal with riffs big and ballsy enough to make your average pachyderm green with envy.

It takes Swansong a while to warm up (despite the brilliantly titled opening track, 'Keep On Rotting In The Free World', sadly not the attack on the gnarly appearance of Neil Young that it promises to be), but when the likes of 'Room 101', 'Generation Hexed' and 'Firm Hand' kick in it's more than enough evidence that the old magic is still there.

Carcass may have mellowed somewhat in their old age (compare 'Child's Play' to, say, 'Crepitating Bowel Erosion'), and perhaps they were more entertaining when they nicked their lyrics from medical dictionaries, but Swansong is a fitting epitaph for Bill, Ken and Jeff.