Released: Oct 18, 1993
Genre: Melodic Death Metal, Thrash Metal
Label: Earache Records
Number Of Tracks: 11
Heartwork is an album by Carcass, released through Earache Records in 1993. The album was recorded at Parr Street Studios, Liverpool between May 18 and June 21, 1993.
saddam, on february 06, 2009 2 of 22 people found this review helpful
Sound: On this album Carcass took a very drastic leap into melodic death metal. According to some (their grind-era fans) this was a huge mistake, which led to the band losing half of their fanbase. Others will then say that this album made Carcass more accessible and gained them a lot of new fans. I myself stand somewhere in between. Their older work ("Symphonies of Sickness", "Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious") will always be on my 'favorite albums' list. I see "Heartwork" as somewhat of an omen of Carcass' demise (which would be completed by the absymal horseshit that is "Swansong")... It was a blatant attempt at selling more records and I'm quite certain Mr. Amott (now Arch Enemy leader) had a great influence on this change in musical (\commercial) direction. On the other hand I must admit that the product of their dubious intentions is a pretty good one! I'm not even a fan of melodic death metal, in fact, this is the only album that I actually like in that genre!
The very clear production makes everything (with exception of the inaudible bass) sound great! The songs themselves are cleverly written. Nothing ever gets boring, there's enough variation in riffs and leads to keep anyone at least entertained. Melody is an important aspect of the songs. Luckily it is never omnipresent like in some of the contemporary melo death. In other words, it's there, but it never sounds gay! Solos seem to play an important role on this album since they're all over it. The guitar tandem consisting of William Steer and Michael Ammot does a good job, although I think Michael should've been left out of the whole lead department. Most of his solos sound alike and in no way are they a match for the wonderful stuff Steer get's out of his fingers.
On the drum side of things, I was pleasantly surprised! The cool thing about Carcass is that every album represents a stage of evolution in Ken Owens drumming and this one is definitely his peak moment. The drums sound great and Owen does a great job at playing them. He never pulls any 'crazy' stuff out of his sleeve but he does what he's supposed to do and he does it well! That's all for the positive stuff (except for Amotts 'contribution'), so now on to the flawed side of things... And flaws there are! First there's the singing, but I'll cover that in the next part of this review. The other most important flaw is the horrible presence of 'fillers' on this album. If there's one thing I hate than it's filler songs! Here we have them in the form of "Blind Bleeding the Blind", "Embodiment" and "No Love Lost". The first just sounds like a bunch of retarded start\stop riffs thrown together topped of with pointless leads. The second is kind of a slow song that never seems to go anywhere. It's filled with uninspired riffs and really lame melodies. The third is built around a silly riff and it also never reaches any form of highlight. I think that when three out of ten songs are filler material, that's a problem. The other stuff is good, but these songs really hurt the overall quality of the album, and that's a shame. // 7
Lyrics: The lyrics are okay, but certainly not as cool as on their older albums! The whole death\pathology obsession is gone and the lyrics now seem to talk about politics and certain dark feelings, mostly through the usage of metaphors. While it's (like I said) not as good as their earlier, more cynical gore stuff, it's still a lot better and more clever than most of the childish crap you'll hear in metal. The singing was a huge letdown. Jeff Walker (who also plays bass) doesn't sound as agressive on this album as on let's say "Necroticism". What he sings is all clearly understandable (who gives a f--k? ), but the 'punch' he once had seems to have disappeared... The absence of Steer's vocals was also a disappointment. His low grunts could've supplied that punch I was talking about. // 6
Overall Impression: It's obvious that when compared to the earlier albums, "Heartwork" comes out rather weak. Like I said in the beginning, it was their first venture into melodic waters and later on (around 1996) it would prove to be disasterous... All the critique this album got by the old fanbase when it was released in 1993 would eventually turn out to be quite rightly. So in the history of Carcass, this is one of their worst creations, though when given a chance to be heard outside of that context, it's actually quite allright. Pick your approach! // 7
Kuroishi_x, on july 05, 2011 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: This album is a fourth album by death metal band from England, Carcass. It was released by Earache Records in October 1993. Band consisted of Jeff Walker (vocals, bass), Michael Amott (lead guitar), Bill Steer (lead & rhythm guitar) and Ken Owen (drums).
This was the first melodic death metal album released. "Heartwork" is full of monstrous, memorable riffs, in fact Amott and Steer played some of the best death metal riffs in history. My favorite riffs is from "Heartwork", but other riffs aren't far away. In addition, there are beautiful dual guitar fills and solos. Amott and Steer are top notch metal duo. And on top of riffs and solos is incredible drumming, which is very technical and still far away from being technical death metal. It is worth replaying album with only listening to drums. Nice drum work by Owen. // 10
Lyrics: Lyrics on this album aren't gory (what you would excepted from previous releases). Sometimes they are weird, but the way they are sung, they fit well into music. Walker isn't one of the best singers, but his singing is just nasty (in a good way of course). // 9
Overall Impression: Album is without bad songs. It is hard to pick the best songs, but I will go with title track, "Arbeit Macht Fleisch" and groovy "No Love Lost".
It's easily one of the best melodic death metal albums and it's a must be for any death metal fan (or any kind of metal fan). Album is full of "out of this world" riffs and drumming. Carcass are pioneers of grindcore and goregrind, they released death metal masterpiece and on top of that they invented melodic death metal and released top material album "Heartwork". // 10