As far as I’m concerned Carcass’ Heartwork was a true masterpiece within the death metal genre. Some say Heartwork is the last good album that carcass made in their career, well sure it isn’t the great symphonies of sickness or Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious, but it has some good highlights and some excellent songs hidden that most hardcore metalheads refuses to hear, why? well because they think that Carcass has sold out which is ridiculous because they still sound heavy and just as good as before. Coinciding with Carcass’ summer reunion shows, Earache is re-releasing their albums in Dualdisc format with brand new interview footage. While Earache Records are notorious for their douple-dipping incessant re-releases (At The Gates’ Slaughter Of The Soul has been released FIVE TIMES!), the new footage present here lends a feel of worthiness to the proceedings. Plus, its nice to have these albums available once again since they were out of print for a long period of time. Heartwork is probably the band’s best album, slightly ahead of its predecessor Necroticism and heading straight in the direction of the unfairly criticised Swansong. To begin with, the vocals in the entire CD are quite different from the other Carcass albums, here Walker screams more than he growls (in fact since Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious the vocals were a lot more different), it sounds a lot like Chuck’s voice from the band Death but not in a bad way, the vocals are fine and Walker knows how to give the album a great environment.
The lyrics are no longer about virulent diseases or rotting corpses, so in this album there are no genitals grinded and no anal tracts vomited of any kind or human body parts used for glue sniffing LMAO!. The lyrics here are more about images than stories, as in the case with Arbeit Mach Fleisch and No Love Lost, most of the lyrics have philosophical matter in a Carcass kind of way and mainly all the lyrics are about avant-garde art like in the excellent track Heartwork “Works of art, painted black…A canvas to paint, to degenerate”. The artwork is excellent, the cover art design was in charge of H.R. Giger the creator of the monsters in all the Alien movies so you get the idea. Now about the music, the leads in the guitar section are overwhelming, Steer and Amott make some incredible riffs and complex leads in some songs, the drums and the bass are not what we were used to, in some songs the drumming is killer and in others it’s just standard with typical rhythm, the same thing for the bass; yes this is the main reason why people called this The First Melodic Death Metal Album.
The best song in the album in my opinion is Arbeit Mach Fleisch, this song is truly awesome. Here all the instruments have something good to highlight, the riffs and leads, the drums, the vocals and bass are astonishing, not to mention that it is the strongest song in the album, so this may be THE song on this album. Blind Bleeding The Blind, Buried Dreams and No Love Lost are also great headbanging tracks maybe because these were the only songs where the music was entirely written by Steer without Amott’s influence, who knows?. My praise also goes to the quality of these re-releases. The DVD side of the disc comes with the 4th part of an extensive, album specific series of interviews which continues the documentary called Pathologist’s Report, covering everything from a return to the rehearsal rooms to Jeff Walker’s dissatisfaction with Bill Steer not doing vocals on the album. In addition to this, the album comes with a bonus CD featuring the full record recorded in demo format-interesting for the curious and a little pointless, but nothing to take points away for. This is a great record from Carcass that is meant to be played loud in order to enjoy the experience, while not the best of Carcass’ work (though it can be the best for some people, including the band members themselves) but sure it’s high-quality and some songs are amazingly well played and recorded, the production is very good and I didn’t find any mixing flaws and the sound is exceptionally clean. So here it is, Heartwork people..buy it, you don’t need more reasons.