May 2024 - Feature Release - The Horde Edition

First Post April 30, 2024 09:41 PM

So just like that we find that a new month is upon us which of course means that we’ll be nominating a brand new monthly feature release for each clan. This essentially means that we’re asking you to rate, review & discuss our chosen features for no other reason than because we enjoy the process & banter. We’re really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on our chosen releases so don’t be shy.

This month’s feature release for The Horde has been nominated by myself. It's 1992's highly regarded "Tools of the Trade" E.P. from English death metal legends Carcass. I picked this one up as a part of Earache Records' "Gods of Grind" compilation at around the time of release & really enjoyed it. It's been a while between drinks though so I'm keen to see where I place it in Carcass' discography these days.

May 07, 2024 03:54 PM

I believe the tracks on this EP were recorded during the Necroticism sessions, that much seems quite apparent anyway. The opening title track is the only previously unreleased track and I must admit that I am quite taken with it, it still hangs on to some of the earlier grind influence and although it was clearly recorded later, it sounds similar to "Swarming Vulgar Mass of Infected Virulency" and easily could have been on Symphonies of Sickness, my personal favourite Carcass album. Second of the four tracks on offer here is Incarnated Solvent Abuse, lifted straight from Necroticism and is a worthy addition, it being one of the band's most recognisable and well-loved tracks, it's melodic chug always able to get the old head nodding.

The other two tracks are both re-recordings and are worthwhile additions here, if only as an illustration as to how good early Carcass' songs were when the production is polished up. First of the two is Pyosified (Still Rotten to the Gore), originally on Reek of Putrefaction which here is like a polished diamond compared to the original Reek version with it's demo-quality production values drowning most of the guitar work. Here the main riff is freed from the chains of poor production to reveal it's full galloping glory and allow a reappraisal of just how great a riff it is. The second re-recording is "Hepatic Tissue Fermentation II" the original of which I am unfamiliar with, it initially appearing on the 1989 Pathological Compilation, the first release from Pathological Records, alongside tracks from the likes of Napalm Death, Godflesh and Coil. At six-and-a-half minutes it's an epic early Carcass track and here it sounds very impressive, combining the later pure death metal sound with their earlier grind tendencies with significant pacing variation, to produce a track that would sound very much at home of Symphonies of Sickness.

These tracks are all now available on later-released comps, but at the time I am sure this would have been a very interesting insight into the Carcass story and would signal the end of one era of the band, prior to their embarkation upon the melodic death metal journey they undertook from the following year's Heartwork onwards.


May 15, 2024 12:31 PM

This was my short review from many years ago now & it's stood the test of time with "Tools of the Trade" still proving itself to be a solid inclusion in the Carcass back catalogue. In fact, I'd suggest that I now place it alongside "Heartwork" on the second shelf beneath the wonderful "Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious" which is one of my all-time favourite releases from any genre.

I've always found this little E.P. to be an invaluable part of any serious Carcass fan's collection. Sure it only features one brand new track but it still has plenty to offer. Not only is the title track an absolute cracker but you also get the album version of "Incarnated Solvent Abuse" (arguably their career highlight) as well as re-recorded versions of two early Carcass songs that had not previously had the opportunity to be presented with a decent production. The fresh versions of "Pyosisified (Rotten To The Gore") & "Hepatic Tissue Fermentation II" are great improvements on the originals in my opinion. The fact that the tracks all seem to have been recorded during the "Necroticism" sessions is also a welcome bonus as it makes for a more even & flowing listening experience; a trait that isn't always made a priority when putting together EPs like this one.