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Review: "Heartwork" by Famous British Death Metal Band Carcass

Updated on January 11, 2021
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Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.


Heartwork Is An Album That Is Good From Beginning To End

Heartwork is the outstanding 1993 metal album by the band Carcass and it is one of the greatest metal albums of all-time! For that reason alone, it deserves a proper review. This is an album by the band that is considered the founding fathers of grindcore. These guys are from the United Kingdom. There is a message that should be sent to bands such as Cannibal Corpse and Deicide: move over because you’ve got some serious company! The music on this Heartwork album consists of fast, staccato riffs that are of a mushy, dirty nature but trust me, they are GOOD!

Analysis of the Songs Buried Dreams and Carnal Forge

The first song "Buried Dreams" has been covered by the Mexican melodic death metal band of the same name. You know this album’s going to have melody when it starts. The song is about trying to live in a world where there is much pain and suffering. As people’s ambitions and hopes are crushed, they are left wondering what to do. Next comes the fast and furiously heavy song "Carnal Forge." Many people will dislike the raspy, rough vocals of Jeff Walker but he is certainly far from the worst vocalist. You can tell from his accent that he is from England if you listen closely enough. This is a great way to start off one of the best death metal albums in history because the riffing is so precise and it fits in the context of this album. "Carnal Forge" is the next song on here and the crunchy, fast riffs have made this album have that sort of trademark grindcore sound. The songs are not as short as the UK’s other famous death metal band Napalm Death and there is much more emphasis on melody and technicality.

The Songs No Love Lost and Heartwork

Next comes the slower but catchy song No Love Lost. The song is about a relationship that ends very badly leaving one or both parties heartbroken. Sometimes in relationships, the parties have no love lost for each other. As Jeff Walker keeps saying in the song: “when all is said and done, there’s no love lost.” Then, we are introduced to the famous title track Heartwork and with this song, these guys mean business as the speed and ferocity kicks in followed by one of the most melodic solos you will ever hear. With the complexity of the album’s lyrics, there is a misconception that the band members were medical students. Heartwork the song begins with one of the most melodic lead guitar parts this writer has ever heard! Listen closely for the words “dark foul” that Jeff utters that makes his grunts sound aggressive yet incredible at the same time. The beginning riff of the song Heartwork is still memorable to me even all these years later as the first really melodic part starts shortly after. All you can say is wow!!

Who Plays On the Album Heartwork?

Jeff Walker: bass guitars and rough death metal grunts

Michael Amott: guitars Note: he is also the founder of the great Swedish melodic death metal band Arch Enemy.

Bill Steer: guitars

Ken Owen: drums

The Song Called No Love Lost

The Significance Of The Song Embodiment

Embodiment has impressive lead guitar work, particularly the last one at the end. The song makes reference to GOD as it states that HIS will should be done here on Earth and that HIS Kingdom is crucial for those that desire salvation. This Mortal Coil being the weakest song on the album still has a pretty good melody in it.

Now checking out the song This Mortal Coil, I see that it is not a bad song. It has a fast, chunky riff and the lead guitar work comes in shortly after.

"Death Certificate"

Favorite Song On the Album

What is your favorite song on the album Heartwork?

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The amazing title track called "Heartwork"

How is the Rest of the Album Heartwork?

"Arbeit Macht Fleisch" is a song about a machine in which its gears keep on grinding but if a human gets caught in it he will be ripped apart. "Blind Bleeding the Blind" starts with a terrific lead guitar solo exchange back and forth by Amott and Steer. The song is a kind of humorous play on words, referring to blood, sweat, and tears which can leave a person devastated. And if you are parched with thirst, make sure to drink plenty of water. This is true whether you are in a desert or not. "Death Certificate" is an excellent way to end a great album. You can hear the bass lines by Walker as they fit in very well with the rest of the song. The end features some pretty freaking heavy riffing which is another thing these guys do very well and they make it work.

Blind Bleeding the Blind

How Has Heartwork Contributed to the Heavy Metal Genre?

With the release of an album like Heartwork, the UK’s Carcass put death metal on the map and possibly gave rise to another impressive kind in the genre. That kind is melodic death metal that has been a huge success in countries such as Sweden, Finland, and even Japan. Yes, even the Land of the Rising Sun has quality melodic death metal bands such as Serpent and Shadow. Musically, Heartwork has everything that you could want to hear on a death metal album. It has rough vocals, terrific leads, awesome melody, and songs that most of us will remember for a lifetime. So, therefore, giving this album anything less than a 95 would be a disservice. Some of you may give it a 100 and I would tend to agree with you!

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2016 Ara Vahanian


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