The unifying thread of this post is a connection between the old and the new — as well as the sound of the “old” when it was brand new. The featured bands are Carcass (UK) and Slash Dementia (Finland).
The first Carcass music I heard was their 1993 album, Heartwork. Only later did I learn that what I thought was a melodic death metal band started life as a d-beat riding, gore-splattered, death-grind act who were in fact one of the pioneering bands in the evolution of that genre.
The band’s original name was Disattack. After the name change to Carcass, they released their debut album, Reek of Putrefaction, on Earache Records in 1988 after only four days in the recording studio. Although they weren’t happy with the outcome, that album “reached #6 on the UK Indie Chart, establishing Carcass as one of the pioneers of the grindcore genre” (per The Font of All Human Knowledge).
All of this is relevant background to what I stumbled across last night at CVLT NATION — a free download and album stream of a live performance by Carcass in the year of their album debut, 1988.
I haven’t finished listening to this entire recording, but I fucken love what I’ve heard so far. The word “raw” and “filthy” get thrown around a lot in descriptions of beautifully ugly metal, but seriously, THIS is raw and filthy. The sound quality is uneven, the band’s timing is off as much as it’s on, but still: It’s an invigorating, evil, slaughterhouse romp without finesse or pretense.
It’s also a snapshot of history in the making — a bunch of British kids doing something original, undoubtedly with no clue about the lasting impact their music would have on hundreds if not thousands of bands to come.
The song file you can download is the entire live performance — a 40-minute mp3. I used some editing software to excerpt the first song, to give you an example of what this sounds like — but you can jump over to CVLT NATION to stream and download the whole thing.
CARCASS LIVE 1988[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/CARCASS-Live1988-pt1.mp3|titles=CARCASS Live1988-pt1]
Slash Dementia is one of those subsequent generations of bands who undoubtedly were influenced by early Carcass. In fact, they took their name from a Carcass song off the 1989 album Symphonies of Sickness.
This band was formed in the summer of 2010 in Äänekoski, Finland. To date, they’ve produced a debut album, Race Against the Machine, an EP called Symptoms Are…, and most recently a second EP released on January 1 called Wheels of Babylon. The band wrote us with an invitation to hear that EP, which I’ve been greedily enjoying.
It consists of 8 songs, running a total of about 10 1/2 minutes — just long enough to get you hot and bothered and not long enough to leave you satisfied, because this is good enough to generate an appetite for more. Hair-on-fire vocals, gun-blast drums, and rancid, down-tuned guitar-grinders inflict the Slash Dementia musical violence in a nasty mix of punk and death-grind.
The songs run right through each other without pause, starting fast, then dropping into a corpse-crawl in “Start Breathing” and “Break Away”, then ramping up again with a crusty, d-beat finish in the EP’s final two numbers. Run this through your ear holes, and if you like it, you’ll be happy to know that it’s available for free at Bandcamp or at this location. You might also want to go show Slash Dementia some like at their Facebook page.