1996, Music

Swansong (1996) by Carcass

Apparently the Carcass’ shtick, at least in their first iteration, was to change it up every record. And that’s too their credit, if indeed it’s true. (This is only my second Carcass record I believe.) I want to commend any band that doesn’t want to make the same record twice. I’d much rather listen to bands like that, than the AC/DC type.

But, to the best of my knowledge Death ‘n’ Roll had existed for at least three years at this point. So while it’s commendable that Carcass don’t want to make the same record twice, I’m not sure how commendable it is switching from one super niche metal genre to another. (And the degree to which they actually did can certainly be debated. I am not the person to discuss that. I have more pressing concerns.) And Death ‘n’ Roll is such a ridiculously niche genre – among so many niche metal genres – that it’s hard for me to care too much about whether or not this qualifies as top notch Death ‘n’ Roll.

This is a subgenre I don’t particularly like, if I hadn’t made that clear. It’s just not something I see the point of. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, but it’s just not for me. I’ve never found myself listening to loud hard rock and thinking that the only thing which is missing is death metal vocals. Sure, I’ve had that feeling with metal plenty of times – and sometimes they are indeed playing music identifiable as “metal” – but that feeling is nearly always elicited by some power metal singer.

The riffs are decent enough and the material is often pretty catchy. (Rendered less catchy, as is the point, by Walker’s voice.) And the production is actually pretty decent. (I can hear the bass!) The lyrics, which you can actually understand, are nothing to write home about – basically cliches – but this is metal we’re talking about. (I did laugh at the “Twinkle, twinkle” part, though.)

But I just can’t bring myself to care too much about this. It’s a niche I don’t love, it’s not the first in its niche, and it doesn’t have enough variation.


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