Friday is a good day for...
Carcass - Heartwork (1993)
As it goes, Metal got me into Hardcore, and in a strange twist of the plot, Hardcore got me even more into Metal. If you have been following over the past few posts, Hard Rock got me into Heavy Metal, which led to me to Thrash and Speed Metal (I never mentioned my love of the song Painkiller by Judas Priest or Caught In A Mosh by Anthrax), which led me to Sick Of It All and Biohazard. The road gets hazy through this section because I got into Fugazi and DC styled stuff as well as Slint and early Post-Rockish stuff like Tortoise and Rodan around the same time I was hunting for the entirety of the Revelation Records catalog. It was maybe towards the end of 94 that my Hardcore worship was fully blossoming. I had moved into the realms of early emo, which I still cant remember calling emo, though the word was tossed around with bad connotations by jockish hardcore kids. It was in this time period of being into multiple facets of hardcore that I began to note the similarities between metal and hardcore and, as though a light from on high was shone upon my world, Converge entered my life.
Its a meandering road, this travel through tims day of hardcore reckoning. But nonetheless it was my friend Dan who purchased the Halo In a Haystack LP on Earthmover Records that began a link that to this day cannot be broken. Now I have told this story before, so I wont recount that one again, but after the sale of Halo in a Haystack I was only left with a dubbed cassette copy with the xeroxed artwork fashioned into cassette size. Of course this is one of the few tapes I still have in my possesion. I eventually added some 7"s to the other side, Barritt, Channel, and later in the future, the Execute demos (Execute was a Vermont band with Todd Henig from Seven Years War on drums and a local snowboard kid, Jon, I think, on vocals. I'll get that up one day, along with Barritt who were awesome) Where the hell am I going with this?!?!
Oh, well, I just mentioned Vermont and that is where part 2 of this story takes place. I went to college in VT in 95 where I met Jim from Albany who loved Snapcase as much as I and introduced me to the Albany scene of One King Down, Withstand and Stigmata. The next year I became friends with Brendan who not only shared our love of all things hardcore, but even more so was seriously into Death Metal. He introduced me to the Converge 7" with Saddest Day on it and needless to say I was addicted. It was full circle for me. Liking Thrash and Metal and then Hardcore and then finding this ultimate blend of the two.... it was a revelation.
Converge still rules to this day. I consider them more Death Metal than hardcore in fact, but thats all relative (they call themselves, "Aggressive Music"). What counts is that Hardcore made me like metal, and specifically very heavy, churning, fast metal, even more than I did before.
So it is with that story, however inane, that I present you with Carcass's 1993 masterpiece, Heartwork. I know most of the readers wont latch onto this, but really, its an insanely good album full of catchy riffs and blistering tempos. The opening chords are heavier than most hardcore and there are some breakdowns that make it clear where bands like Overcast, Unbroken, Starkweather and Converge got some of their inspiration. If you like those bands I just mentioned then you should really do your best to make it through the first four songs at least. Do something while you listen; read, work on the computer, paint or make out with someone. In fact, yeah. Make out with someone while listening to Heartwork. That is your homework for the weekend.