The album is defined by its brilliant riffs: the sleek guitar harmony of "This Mortal Coil"; the toxic metal grooves of "Buried Dreams" and "Arbeit Macht Fleisch"; ripping chugga thrash-fests of "Heartwork" and "Carnal Forge"; the stop-start meltdown of "Doctrinal Expletives"; and so on and so forth. In terms of quality _and_ quantity, the riffs on this one album top the entire careers of most metal bands. I'm always blown away when I listen to this album -- the writing is just _that_ good. The guitarwork is totally imaginative and intense and brilliant. Michael Amott is a guitarist to rival John Petrucci, and naturally Bill Steer is a stunner as well. This guitar duo is easily up there with other master pairings like Murray-Smith and Wichers-Frenning. (If only Amott's current band, Arch Enemy, was as good as his work on this album! Then the dissolution of Carcass would not be so unfortunate.)
The mix's low-end is kind of "fwumpy" and Jeff Walker's snarling vocals sound synthetic and weird sometimes (although I like them anyway). These are niggling points in any case -- this is essential for metal fans.
*And* that sleek H.R. Giger sculpture on the cover sure is sweet... Heck, even if the music was awful it'd be a nice addition to the collection just to look at it.
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