Originally written by Erik Thomas
Ok, I’ll keep this short and sweet without boring you, the (I’m assuming) well versed listener with the legacy of Carcass. Lets just say they are arguably one of the most influential bands in extreme metal and leave it at that shall we? You guys can argue about it on the discussion board or in the lashes.
Scheduled for release in 1999, Choice Cuts was delayed due to drummer Ken Owen becoming sick, now healthy and with the band’s blessing Choice Cuts has finally seen the light of day, with the added bonus of the rare 1989 and 1990 Peels sessions (John Peel was a BBC Radio 1 ‘underground’ DJ or sorts for you yanks). Anyway, compilations are always tough to score, especially when all the material is previously available, as Choice Cuts contains no unreleased material as the Wake up and Smell the Carcass compilation did. Sure you get the Peel Sessions and a song from Tool of the Trade and Heartwork EPs, but most Carcass fans will already own something that has all of these songs on it. Choice Cuts acts like more of a sampler for those yet to delve into one of grindcore’s best bands who then made one of death metal’s most controversial evolutions.
You get 2 tracks from the ultra grinding, puss filled Reek of Putrefaction (“Genital Grinder”, “Maggot Colony”), only one track from the skin breaking Symphonies of Sickness (“Swarming Vulgar Mass Of Infected Virulency”), the title track from the Tools of the Trade EP, two tracks from the seminal Necrotism album (“Corporal Jigsore Quandary”, “Incarnated Solvent Abuse”) and then six tracks spanning the band’s foray into melodic death metal/death ‘n’ roll (“Buried Dreams”, “No Love Lost”, “Heartwork”, “Keep On Rotting In The Free World”, “R**k The Vote”, “This Is Your Life”). Each rendered in their original format, no re-mastering or rerecordings. The only real bonus material is archive interviews and material that only die hard collectors might be interested in.
The Peel Sessions are expectedly raw, being recorded in a radio studio, and it’s the band’s early work exclusively so those into the slimier, medical side of the band will enjoy those two sessions.
Wake up and Smell the Carcass offered more in the way of “cool” stuff, but Choice Cuts serves its purpose as a “..Best of” album with a solid collection of the band’s better tracks from their discography.
Not really a necessity to your collection, as you should own most of the band’s albums anyway, but if you’ve never heard Carcass, this will give a good idea which era you like and where to start (although I will go ahead and personally recommend Necrotism).