Carcass - Swansong review


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Band: Carcass
Album: Swansong
Release date: May 1996

Disc I [CD]
01. Keep On Rotting In The Free World
02. Tomorrow Belongs To Nobody
03. Black Star
04. Cross My Heart
05. Child's Play
06. Room 101
07. Polarized
08. Generation Hexed
09. Firmhand
10. R**k The Vote
11. Don't Believe A Word
12. Go To Hell
13. Deathrider Da [Japanese bonus]

Disc II [2008 re-release bonus DVD]
The Pathologist's Report - Part V
01. Issue With Release
02. Extreme But Not As We Know It
03. Moving To Columbia
04. The Cover Artwork
05. Mike Hickey & Carlo's Involvement
06. The End Is Nigh
07. The Aftermath
08. Influencing The Next Generation
09. Ken Talks About His Illness
10. Out-takes

The last album from one of the most controversial and praised bands in Metal history, a band built mainly on musical progression and versatility, this is the legacy of Carcass. Misconceived as their "bad" album, "Swansong" shows the softer but most technical side of the band, an underrated album if you ask me, mainly because people desperately sought in Carcass utter brutality and a sickening concept (after all they created that scheme); in the end, Swansong is a very good "Melodic Death" album which actually retains the catchiest riffs Carcass created and the most digestible and technical music they produced in their history.

"Swansong" starts (and ends) with melodious guitars, a cleaner sound and artsy lyrical content (probably the main reason why people dismissed this album in the old days); to be honest I can't find any major flaw inside this piece, on the contrary, the creativity and the resourcefulness of it impresses me and it makes me hear it again and again. As I already said, this is the most complex and most technical album this band ever released; the instrumentation is multi-faceted, the paces are incredibly irregular and the execution is ridiculously intense, not to mention the unbelievably convoluted songwriting that this album depicts.

Yes! It is a "softer" side of this band; songs like "Child's Play" or "Generation Hexed" (and actually the majority of the tunes) will ruin the impression that the fanatics of "Reek Of Putrefaction" and "Symphonies of Sickness" had, but if you're an avid fan of music, and specially if you know the meaning of "musical appreciation" there won't be any problem at all, there are many astounding features for you to like inside "Swansong", from the impressive musicianship to the astonishing songwriting to the catchy riffing and the head-banging groove, this album will make you stay to the very end of it whether you like it or not.

I really like both stages of this band, I think I prefer their Goregrind era to tell you the truth, but as an objective reviewer I can only recommend you to get this album and give it a try, after all it's Carcass you can't go wrong with a band like this one, ever.

Best Tracks: "Black Star", "Keep On Rotting In The Free World", "R**k The Vote"

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 8

Written by Herzebeth | 22.01.2007



Comments: 12   Visited by: 199 users
22.01.2007 - 21:45
Angel of Lust
Good album, not my favourite Carcass one but it has killer songs...
This is considered the "shame" album, anyway I think it's not bad at all.
Good review!

"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear,
and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."
Howard Phillips Lovecraft
22.01.2007 - 21:58
This sounds like heavy metal with harsh vocals, theres some songs that really stand out like black star, go to hell and the most praised keep rotting in the free world but other than that, it is the shame album.
03.03.2007 - 16:09
Finally, a review is on MS for this great album!

I wouldn't really call it their most technical though, I think that would be one of the two prior albums (I haven't heard the first stuff but I'm assuming that's out of the question).

A strange album, I find Don't Believe a Word a bit shameful and also don't like Cross My Heart much but can't stop listening to it cos it's so groovy. I really love Room 101, Polarized and ...Free World (partly because that's related to a Neil Young song). It's a pity Emotional Flatline was left off but I'm glad Blood Spattered Banner didn't make it

edit years later - "shameful" is the wrong word... the slow riff is cool and the chorus is even better. Fav songs moved around somewhat, 8, 10, 12 are near the top of the pile, and Child's Play is around the other end
death thrash death/doom/prog Hail Zoldon!

he's not the kind you have to wind up on Sundays
22.10.2007 - 20:35
Good album, "Black Star" is one of my favorites by them. Nothing can beat "Corporal Jigsaw Puzzle" though.
A few of the songs of this album didn't do much for me but most of them were good. Not the best album by them though.
When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us."
26.10.2007 - 08:32
Written by Olli on 22.10.2007 at 20:35
Jigsaw Puzzle I think it's Corporeal Jigsore Quandary. Good song!
death thrash death/doom/prog Hail Zoldon!

he's not the kind you have to wind up on Sundays
20.03.2008 - 07:26
Liver Failure
in some songs like ''Polarized'' their sound remember me of Arch Enemy.

member of the true crusade against old school heavy metal, early 80s thrash, NWOBHM, traditional doom, first and second wave black metal, old school death metal, US power metal, 70s prog rock and atmospheric doomsludgestoner. o/
31.01.2009 - 19:44
Man, "Keep On Rotting In The Free World" is STILL one of the catchiest songs I've ever heard. I'll have to pick this up now that they've released the albums with the bonus DVD features and all.
01.03.2009 - 23:36
Not melodic death but totaly great album!!!!Go to hell is my favorite!!!!LET'S GO TO HELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Will the ones who live after our end
Worship the goddamn cross again?
02.03.2009 - 01:33
The Shooter
Great Album!

Maybe with another type Carcass singer it arrived but far from which I arrive.
08.05.2009 - 18:02
Go to hell and polarized are the best songs here. the rest of the album is really mediocre and the main reason is that carcass can do it much better...
Υou've sold your human essence to the cold world of dead and empty things... You're SOLD!
08.04.2010 - 16:03
I agree with the reviewer when he said "if you're an avid fan of music". This album is a complete change of their style, is true is softer than the previous but it is also the logical continuatuion of their carrer, Haven't you noticed that the suunds of each album is like an evolution of their previous one?, some would think this is bad, some would love it. Personally i like their whole carrer, maybe this album isn't my favorite, but like what they did.

Black Star, Cross My Heart and Generation Hexed my favorites.
15.09.2017 - 02:58
Greg L.
Great album! Artwork is ugly as sin though! Dayamn!

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