I’m going back to the glory days of the early ’90’s for this beast of a pick.
Carcass – Heartwork
Released – October 18, 1993 via Earache/Columbia Records
Favorite Tracks – Carnal Forge, Buried Dreams, Heartwork
Heartwork was released in late 1993 and served as yet another transition for the British metal act. Their prior effort Necrotism… had shifted them somewhat away from grindcore and into death metal, and Heartwork again moved them into the melodic death metal landscape, which was taking shape across the continent in Gothenburg, Sweden.
The album was perfect at the time for me. I was well into my exploration of extreme metal in ’93 and was absolutely floored when I heard this. What has come to be called the “Gothenburg Sound” is one of my favorite subgenres of all time and this was my introduction to it, pre-dating my discovery of At The Gates, Dark Traniqillity, et al. It moved with precision, sounded great and more sharp than some of the rougher death metal of the day.
The album was part of a major record label’s short but ill-fated foray into extreme metal. The band’s label Earache Records partnered with major Columbia to release this and a few other albums from notable acts like Entombed and Napalm Death. Though the move fell flat on its face, it gave more American youths a chance at hearing the stuff through a widened distribution network in the days just before the Internet became a thing.
In the end, Heartwork remains as a beloved staple in any heavy metal collection and probably Carcass’ magnum opus. It’s remained in my rotation from the day of its release and it’s one I’m spinning ’till I depart this mortal coil.
Oh yeah, check out this “red” and white marble vinyl from a recent reissue. Record colors don’t always come out the way they’re supposed to. This one is pretty amusing.