Tools of the Trade

Earache, 1992 - Mosh 49

Tools was released the same year as Necroticism, and features both a new composition (Tools of the Trade) and re-recorded versions of two Carcass classics (Rotten to the Gore, originally recorded on Reek of Putrefaction, and Hepatic Tissue Fermentation II, originally to be found on the Pathological Records compilation).

The title track features an interesting and somewhat minimalist lyrical structure, essentially consisting of a list of medical utensils:

Steel skin clips, forceps, grooved awl,
Retractors, needle, gouges and saws,
Intestinal clamps, blunt dissectors,
Scalpels, pins, toothed directors...

Tools of the trade, forceps and blades,
Skillfully lathed, for us to maim...

However, the real strength of the song lies in the solos, the appropriately named "Maim to please" by W. G. Steer, and "Up to the hilt" by M. Amott. Both feature some impressive melodic playing, again serving to contrast with the abrasive rhythms.

The two rerecorded tracks feature some differences to the originals, in addition to the dramatic improvement in sound quality. The most obvious ones are the addition of a drum intro to Rotten to the Gore, and the shortened guitar solo during the outro of Hepatic Tissue Fermentation II. (Ken Owen's distinctive eructations were also phased out in favour of Walker's growling).

Track listing:

  1. Tools of the Trade
  2. Incarnate Solvent Abuse
  3. Rotten to the Gore
  4. Hepatic Tissue Fermentation II

The E.P. is apparently now out of print, but the tracks can be found on Earache's Gods of Grind compilation, the re-released version of Necroticism - Descanting the Insalubrious, the Japanese import of the Heartwork E.P., and Wake Up And Smell The Carcass.

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