CARCASS started out as a spin-off of the first Grindcore-band ever emerged from the underground, namely NAPALM DEATH. In fact, former NAPALM DEATH-member Bill Steer left the band to entirely dedicate himself to his new creature. Therefore, it's quite obvious that on the first CARCASS-album you can expect a NAPALM DEATH-style Grindcore: noisy, fast and simple off-rhythm structures played with sloppy attitude, but still loud and brutal. Sure, all the aforementioned elements are present, but here we definitely have more than that.
CARCASS push the nihilism of early Death Metal to the extreme consequences, surmounting the white noise borderline, but in a quite interesting manner. Despite the simplicity of the playing, the musicians prove to be very ingenious, working throughout the songs' phrases to put together a bunch of indiscernible guitar riffs and single-step double-bass-drumming which incredibly end up being focused. The drumming work is at light speed, but not in a Sean Reinert way, being almost imprecise. However, I have to say it fits perfectly with the mood of the record, in spite of the fact that it could seem odd, to say the least. The tempos, though mostly built on bar-chords, are wisely varied to grab the listener's attention, and are organized with a large sense of song-writing. It's kinda funny, 'cos at first listen this seems to be utter crap, but its hidden value is indisputable.
The production is by far the worst I've ever heard on a disc. It's a sort of muted, distorted garage-level recording with an extremely annoying scraping, muddy guitar-sound and broadcard-made drums. The bass guitar is buried in the mixing (if they ever mixed it). The vocals are shared by all the three band-members, changin' from guttural to piercing cries and consist of the sickest growling ever. In my opinion, none will never equal Jeff Walker's growling style: simply, it's way too brutal to be reached.
The lyrics are all about the most terrible pathologies you can imagine of, at times really disgusting, with the clear purpose to shock the audience, but the context is pretty ironic, considering that all the band-members are vegetarians (with Bill even being a vegan).
Well, maybe this could seem to be a lacklustre album, but give it a chance, don't be discouraged by the horrible production and try. It has an apparent anarchic feel that reveals a wide and deep approach to extreme Metal. Back in 1988 this knocked the Metal-world on its ass, opening a way that many bands later explored in his entirety. In hindsight, this was a groundbreaking album and still nowadays I find it a darn' great work.
Note: In 1996 Earache re-issued this album with a censored cover art, which I think It's a fuckin' shame, 'cos detracts to its historical importance.