Symphonies Of Sickness review by Carcass

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  • Released: Oct 31, 1989
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.6 (9 votes)
Carcass: Symphonies Of Sickness

Sound — 9
This is the band's second effort, and it sees them branch out into more musical territory. The overall production quality has improved, with every instrument sounding clearer and more coherent. The average song length has vastly increased, compared to their debut album 'Reek Of Putrefaction'. The songs are not only longer, but also offer more musical variety than the debut. Bill Steer's guitar technique seems to have made mountains of progress, and the album seems to maintain a consistent sound, that's more refined but just as powerful as their debut effort. The genre of the album is chiefly Goregrind, with strong structures reminiscent of similar bands of the era, including Napalm Death. The pure speed and chaos of each song defines the grindcore movement perfectly.

Lyrics — 8
The lyrics owe much to the 'goregrind' genre Carcass are often attributed to. The lyrics are often tongue-in-cheek with their approach, and are never to be taken seriously. The lyrics are seldom heard however, due to the nature of the vocals used in the genre. A range of vocal styles are used on the album; extreme varieties in pitch are often used. Carcass's trademark ultra-low vocals are very prominent, along with the occasional shriek; adding to the chaos. The lyrics and vocals flow very well with the music, and are a vital addition to the powerful grindcore sound.

Overall Impression — 9
Overall, Symphonies Of Sickness is a brilliant grindcore album. At a time when the grindcore sound was still being pioneered, Carcass were one of the leading bands of the genre. This album is a very solid effort, with the band progressing musically since their debut. The chaotic grindcore sound is still there, but the band have focused more on varying song structures, and have spent a lot more time songwriting than before. This album is perfect for a hard day's headbanging, if you're in a pumped up mood. If someone stole this album, I'd probably go crying to my mum, and get straight back on Amazon, and buy the album all over again. Essential listening for goregrind/grindcore fans.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Ken Owen's transition from single to double kick was te greatest thing that ever in the world Swarming Mass of Infected Virulency is my fave song
    Another evolutionary work from Carcass. The band definitely upped their game in chops and songwriting with Symphonies, and fired their first shot in what was to become an evolution in progressive death metal and grindcore. Brutal, yet musically fulfilling as well.