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Carcass - Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious
Review: Beware bands who have crested the arc of their actual accomplishment and, lacking any further reason for positive direction, are now resting on their accomplishments while waging negative warfare against any who come to unseat them; they have dropped out of the process of life and into the process of power.
On this album, the quirkily innovative creator of gore-inducing grindcore hangs up the towel on foreward momentum, but defends its position by throwing in sweeteners and comes up with a blueprint for all future death metal which wishes to be normed into rock music. In addition to simple grindcore riffs, heavy muted-strum death metal riffs surge forward in a melange of classic heavy metal/hard rock riffs, melodic and cheesy glam metal guitar leads, very basic Pantera-styled bouncy speed metal riffs which set up a jaunty doubled pattern whose power rests entirely on its rhythmic complement in anticipation, creating music designed to lead you along by your nose. The disingenuity of this approach shows in the song structure, which is verse/chorus with each having a linear sequence of riffs repeated in a circular pattern, as if trying to fool us into thinking there's complexity here. Drumming sounds like Jawbreaker on a bad day, riffing is like an alarming anal hybrid of later Megadeth and Pantera, and the "death metal" aspects are the worst dumbed-down aspects of Suffocation and Malevolent Creation cloneage on record. With the "progression" of this album, Carcass have abandoned death metal and grindcore both musically and philosophically. Metal represents a perspective beyond the individual, surveying life through the eye of history and science, seeing information more than tangible matter, and so being immune to sentiment and personal drama.
For all their bloviation about how terrible corporate rock is, Carcass replace this philosophical perspective with the grindcore-infused heavy metal equivalent of U2: pop meets protest rock in one-step "emotional" melodic hooks that emphasize a comforting harmonic and rhythmic monoculturalism, where that culture is the focus on individuals feeling important for having emotional reactions at the expense of the averaging of all its influences into a uniform mixture of schmaltz and self-righteousness. This approach works by making the individual feel a connection to a simplified view of life; it is not negating of the individual, and looking at broader patterns and designs and structures as death metal was, and so it's much more like the cosmopolitan, hipster, advertising-fed and corporate-approved nonchallenging focus on the ego that rock music has always been. This work lacks an attention span, and by pandering to an audience of the same outlook, it laid out the blueprint for generations of directionless death/grind.