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Released: 2000, Earache Records
Reviewer: Nathan Robinson
I thought this album was a lost gem and never imagined it would be reissued! Carnage was formed in 1988 by guitarist Michael Amott, years before joining Carcass. Carnage managed to record two demos with their early lineup, featuring Arch Enemy vocalist-to-be Johan Axelsson. At that time, Dismember had already begun, yet their vocalist Matti Karki and drummer Fred Estby left to join Michael, bassist Johnny Dordevic, and newly recruited second guitarist David Blomkuist after losing some member. Together they released their one and only album Dark Recollections in 1990. The album had an obvious resemblance to Entombed’s debut album Left Hand Path, considering Thomas Skogsberg produced both in his Sunlight Studios, two of his earliest production jobs. And both albums helped pioneer the whole Swedish death metal movement of the early ‘90s, although it was Entombed who took the spotlight because Carnage didn’t stick around too long, dissolving into Dismember who have since been wrongfully labeled Entombed clones.
Dark Recollections is as classic as old-school death metal gets and is an absolute must for fans of Dismember and early Entombed. This reissue still does not come with lyrics, but does include some band history liner notes as well as comments from Michael, not to mention some information regarding their demos as well as some band photos. The cover artwork is not as crisp as the original however. And this reissue is also remastered, which actually does sound a little better than the original. Finally, eight bonus tracks have been included! Three songs, “Crime Against Humanity” (no not the Sacred Reich song), “Aftermath”, and “The Day Man Lost” appear twice each, once from the 1989 demo “The Day Man Lost”, and once from the rough mixes of said demo. These songs sound, well…like total shit! But this can only be expected from such an underground death metal band in 1989. Their style at that point was pretty primitive, and much like Carcass’ first album Reek of Putrefaction. The rough mix versions sound better though. The great thing about these three songs is they were never re-recorded, so for many this will be your first time hearing them. Too bad they’re so short though. The last two bonus tracks, “Torn Apart” and “Infestation of Evil”, are taken from the second demo from 1989 “Infestation of Evil”. Sound quality here is still damn rough too! But it’s always nice to see label’s release rare recordings such as these and Earache deserves praise for getting this disc back on the shelves!
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