Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious has got to be one of my favorite if not #1 favorite, (although it usually changes on a weekly basis) death metal albums. You can say a lot of things about Carcass, but you can never accuse them of ever releasing two albums that sounded the same in their five full length lifespan. From their filthy medical dictionary grinding roots, to their part in the creation of melo-death (way before the Gothenburg music scene), they have inspired many musicians in the extreme and underground metal scene. It is quite difficult to overstate how influential this album was, and still is on the death metal genre. A perfect marriage of the brutal death/gore-grind of earlier releases (particularly the slightly more structured cuts from Symphonies Of Sickness) and the psuedo-melodic death metal/Gothenburg sound of Heartwork, Necroticism… is possibly the definitive Carcass album. In my honest opinion this (their 3rd album) was their crowning achievement, a perfect death metal album which bridged the gap between their charring brutality filled debut and sophomore releases to the melodic musicianship of Heartwork.
The great work done by this group can be attributed to Jeff Walker and the addition of Michael Amott to their ranks for this album (even if he did only add a couple of solos to this excellent release, with all the rhythm work already done by Bill Steer). The lyrics were sick and extreme as usual, they seemed to have used a medical dictionary and started covering such touching and heart warming subjects such as humans being turned into fertilizer, humans being used as pet food, human parts being used as musical instruments, humans being turned into glue for glue sniffing – you get the idea. It was this tongue in cheek attitude that grabbed me when I first flicked through the booklet, adding the extra dimension when listening to the album – hell, they even named their solos with medical terms!. The guitar work on this album is second to none, with Bill Steer and Michael Amott’s contrasting guitar styles complementing the songs perfectly. The riffs are totally awesome and IMMENSE!, as well as the much more professional sounding solos which you have to hear by yourself. The song structures are at times mind-bogglingly complex. Ken Owen’s drumming is some of the best ever committed to an extreme metal record and Jeff Walker’s vocals are suitably savage (Bill and Ken’s vocals are less prevalent than on previous records, however). Inpropagation is the perfect opener for the album, it’s brutal, fast and very technical and the duet between the snares of Jeff Walker and the growls are just fantastic. Corporal Jigsore Quandary (one of the best death metal songs ever!) begins with the double bass pedals, and the the guitar enters the scene, the riffing courtesy of Mr. Amott is just insane! great head banging track. All of the songs are just amazing, but I have my favorites of course take for instance Inacarnated Solvent Abuse, this song actually deals with issues like making glue with human fat to be used as an intoxicant (a very common issue in England ) Pedigree Butchery deals with the use of infants as dog food, Carneous Cacophony shows us how to make guitar strings out of human remains. Lavaging Expectorate Of Lysergide Compositions is about those crazy kids that take too much acid, read the lyrics and you’ll never take one of those again, believe me!. Forensic Clinicism is about malpractice in the operation room, a classic!!.
The musicianship is amazing in this album, every riff, every tempo change is stunning, the vocals and the themes are out of this world. Is the perfect combo, Walker in the lyrics/ and Amott in the guitar. If you consider to be a Death Metal fan, and you don’t have own this album yet then you deserve a much more painful death than the ones described in this album. This re-release really does offer great value for money. As well as a great remastered sound there are 3 bonus tracks all from the tools of the trade EP and they sound perfect and really fit well with the rest of the album. Much better than the stupid demo tracks which are normally added to re masters these days to try and justify purchase. Also a great 30 minute DVD documentary which is part 3 of a 2 and a half hour documentary filmed in 2007 called The Pathologist Report covering their entire career. The other parts are featured in the next subsequent re-leases so you have to get all Carcass albums to see the whole documentary which is definitely worth it since Carcass have made some great albums. It’s a 25 minute interview with Mike Amott and Walker from an early 90s Earache video. The interview is very relaxed and informative, and gives great insight to how the band operated at the time, rather than in retrospect. All this comes in a massive digipak with full lyrics, photography and artwork. In short, the album has gotten the treatment it deserves, you cannot call yourself a death metal fan without owning this excellent album.