Released: 2004, Earache Records
Reviewer: Night of the Realm
Alright, I am probably going to draw a lot of flak for this review, but let’s get a few things straight first:
1). “Greatest Hits” compilations blow goats 99% of the time. I find infinitely more value in the albums themselves.
2). I don’t dig grind at all, so the first third and last quarters of this album are largely useless to me.
Carcass is a band that needs no explanation or introduction, and in just over 15 years of existence, they have managed to carve themselves quite a niche in the world of gore/death metal. CHOICE CUTS is a greatest hits collection that manages to do a decent job spanning Carcass’ career.
The first four tracks here are from the first two albums, REEK OF PUTREFICATION, and SYMPHONIES OF SICKNESS. Honestly, this is your typical gore-grind metal; it does not appeal to me at all. Furthermore, the last eight tracks on this 21-song compilation come from the 1989 and 1990 “John Peel Show” on BBC Radio. Again, useless to me based on my personal tastes, but quite an interesting find and a welcome addition to any Carcass fan.
Right in the middle of the album is where things get good, 9 songs representing what I feel is the best that Carcass has to offer. These tracks, covering the NECROTISM – DESCANTING THE INSALUBRIOUS, TOOLS OF THE TRADE, HEARTWORK, and SWANSONG albums. Ok, here I may deviate again from the die-hard Carcass fans because I also enjoy the more laid-back mel-death sound of SWANSONG. As far as melodic death metal is concerned, Carcass manages to maintain a sound that is really melodic and really death metal. Of course, a melodic death metal fan such as myself would appreciate tracks off these albums most of all.
What does Carcass’ CHOICE CUTS hold for the listener? Old-time Carcass fans will enjoy the “Peel Sessions” bonus at the end of the disc, as well as 78 minutes of Carcass goodness. The listener who is new to Carcass has 21 songs that give a good retrospective of the entire Carcass catalog, highlighting each distinct musical era of the band. This is, after all, one of the goals of a greatest hits package, is it not? The casual Carcass fan, such as myself, will probably be more interested in seeking out either the early grind/death albums, or the later melodic death metal albums.