If Reek of Putrefaction
was one series of brusque, quick, and brute explosions after another, Symphonies of Sickness
, as its title indicated, is something of a complex step up. None of the power is lost at all, but thanks to a combination of crisper recording and a desire on the part of the band to stretch things out a bit more -- three- to five-minute-long songs and so forth -- Carcass
here play with their enjoyably ugly sound just enough. Thus, hearing a brief stab of synth strings and an actual sense of space in the opening title track might not be too much, but it's still quite a lot in context. But once the vocal growls and a quick, solid riff heralds another hyperspeed section of musical and vocal delivery, Carcass
as they were initially known and loved reappear in full effect. Nothing too much changes beyond the slightest of touches throughout Symphonies
, but one notable difference is that the lyrics actually sometimes come through, if only just. One of the best bits comes in the middle of "Empathological Necroticism" -- in the middle of detailing another hard day at the office with crushed limbs and general evisceration, the working stiff hero of the piece admits, "Life is hard as a mortuary technician." Given that the guy's problems have to deal with such things as pulped cerebellums mucking up his slab and the problems of rigor mortis, it's hard to disagree with the sentiment. An all-time Carcass
highlight comes with the perfectly disgusting second number, "Exhume to Consume," which gives an all-new insight into the joys of grave-robbing and, shall we say, feasting on preserved meat. Then again, ignore the lyric sheet and just go nuts with some of the deepest male vocals ever recorded and overall feedback doom crunch.