Review by Richard Henry for MPM
It’s a cold rainy night in Belfast and tonight the Liverpool quarter Carcass are in town, we got to the Abattoir sorry The Limelight to see they guys as they are playing a Glasgow show and a 3 date Irish warm up before they cross the pond to tour the states.
Now for those of us of a certain age, you may have spotted on the backdrop the Carcass Tv with what looked like the screen you used to get when the channels on Tv used to finish at 1am!
Anyway its 8:15 and the lights dim, and the lads come onto the stage, first up
Kelly’s Meat Emporium
Swing beat and then the heavy hits, great drumming and riffing and then into that Carcass harmony guitars, the blast beat section is tight as anything, Dan smiling away behind the kit, solid drummer looking so at easy playing the material, I love the breaks in this song for the guitar parts, real driving pulse in the mid before the blast beats are back, we rid out the end of this song straight into
Track number one from Heartwork, with that tapped guitar intro and that sliding riff, slow ominous beat pulling that heavy riff along, Jeff sounds great tonight, all that rasp, and snarl still present in his vocals, the solos are intact with Bill shredding away right in front on me, peeling off his lead effortlessly as usual, James handling the Amott solo spot on, the band is on point tonight
Incarnated Solvent Abuse
Well, this is the first Carcass track I ever heard, seeing the video on Headbangers Ball all those years ago, as soon as you hear the autopsy intro you know what’s coming, blast beats followed by Jeff going, lets rock, before it hits into that verse groove, the drumming, the riffs the harmonies, it’s all spot on, absolutely a band on form, both guitar players hitting the solos spot on and Dan handling the groove parts and the blast with equal ease!
Under The Scalpel Blade
Another track from the new album Torn Arteries, and it’s a real bouncy riff in the verse part, then we get a typical Carcass riff intersecting it, proper tribal drum part under that verse riff, the solo in this one shifts from groovy Zakk Wylde at the start to full on shred before the double kicks hit in. Love this when the blast beats kick in!
This Mortal Coil
Back to Heartwork, blast beats and harmony guitars before we hit the Iron Maiden section, well that’s what I think ever since I first heard it, for me this was one of the strongest tracks on Heartwork apart for the title track, it’s that perfect mix of aggressive riffs but with masses of harmony, a formula that so many bands took from this album!
As soon as that drone intro came on, I knew what it was straight away, the first track from Reek of Putrefaction, it’s an amazing track when you hear it played live, the album can be hard to hear what is going on but the complexity of not just the riffs but the drumming and the age the guys where when they wrote it! You could tell a few people hadn’t delved into the back catalogue of the band and a good few older heads knew what the track was, Bill lending his deep vocals to this track and trying to keep a straight face in some parts, great to hear this none played!
Exhume to Consume
Old school again, onto Symphonies of Sickness, Bill again bringing the deep vocals and thunderous double bass from Dan backing him as well, again you hear the complexity of the track and drumming and remember how long ago this came out and really what an outstanding drummer Ken Owens was, great lead again from Bill over the slower part and then the speed kicks up again!
Tomorrow Belongs to Nobody
I knew as soon as I saw a cowbell on this kit that they were going to play something from Swansong an album as much as it was totally different, I really liked when it came out, this is more a straightforward solid rocker of a track, great riff, loving how much they are switching up albums and getting through the catalogue not missing any albums out…..
Speaking of switching albums, back to Heartwork and we have the last song from the album, they are sort of mashing these together as a medley, great track this and if I remember this is the one written by Amott, tricky little riff on this one, love when they hit the harmony parts in this, all underpinned by jeff holding it down with Dan
Dance of Ixtab
Back over to Torn Arteries and Track 2 off the album, lot of heads moving for this one, with a heavy drum intro and a great riff, another slab of a riff and harmony guitars everywhere, definitely one to get everyone moving in the place
Back to Swansong again, I always liked this track, that crunchy riff at the start and the laid-back drumming on it, it’s a really groovy track although they use it as another part of a medley to get into the next track, now this one was a single from the album if my memory serves….
Keep on Rotting in the Free World
I admit I sang the whole way through this one, it’s definitely the most rock track of the night but it really serves to break up the set and the pacing and again it’s just great to hear such a wide variety in the set list, again both James and Bill solid all night and ripping through the solos are harmonies, great guitar duo! Cowbell!!!!!!
Scythes Remorseless Swing
Back to Torn Arteries and the final track on the album, slow intro but then the pace kicks up, but still shifts about the tempos and there are some massive crunchy riffs in this one, but there are subtle parts in there with the little snare roll section before the harmony guitars kick in again!
Corporal Jigsaw Quandary
Back to Necroticism, now people talk about When the Levee Breaks, Wipeout etc. as classic drum intros, if this isn’t one of them then I don’t know what is, more mid-tempo as a whole this one but the whole place was nodding away before you get to that odd time riff then back into the double bass, serious bit of lead work in this one, again Bill is on fire tonight all while smiling away and dancing around his side of the stage, James gets a chance to show he is up to the task as well
Ruptured in Purulence
Back to Symphonies, you know what it is as soon as you hear that drum into, so we get about a min of this song right to the part where on the album it builds up and stops and then hits the blast beats but instead of that we get a four count into……
I mean I really don’t know what can be said about this song that hasn’t, brutality, harmony, it’s for me the quintessential Carcass song, now I have to admit, the crowd is not as rowdy as I would have expected tonight but they were certainly loud, this song live is just perfect, I can’t say anymore!
Now we get the going off the stage to stand at the side for a min or two, now this is no word of a lie, my favorite two Carcass tracks of all time apart from the last one is the longest Carcass track recorded and a track from an ep, it’s as if they knew because it was the last two songs!
Mount of Execution
I remember listening to Surgical Steel and thinking, this is like a progressive death metal track, and I loved it from that moment, you get the acoustic intro over the p.a before it hits in with that shifting riff and then all those little lead breaks perfectly harmonized by the two guys, that riff that it breaks into is like a 70s rock riff and then into the middle section with all the lead and harmony breaks, just awesome!
Tool of the Trade
Back to the grind, double vocals, thrash beats, into that blast beats and the moving riff section, I was blast beating away on the railing for this one, and if you think about it, just shows how the band can meld a long track with multiple layers into as heavy as they have and no one bats an eyelid, truly a spectacular band, massively on form and firing on all cylinders!
If you are reading this from the States go see them, and if you’re in the UK they are back round the mainland again later in the year, go see them, you will not be disappointed, that was a hell of a show!
Photography by MPM