Estimated reading time: 3 minute(s)
Now to the oft-maligned Swansong. To be clear, it is neither as much of a travesty as some would have it, nor the masterpiece that J. Bennett, in a usual fit of hyperbole and contrarianism, believes.
What are you left with when you remove nearly everything that’s unique and interesting from a really good band? Competent mediocrity. Unfortunately, while competently executed, Swansong is exceedingly mediocre. There are 4-5 good to great songs (the first 2-3, Rock the Vote, and Don’t Believe a Word), and the rest is just so-so. If Heartwork hewed Carcass’ rough edges with a file, Swansong does it with an axe—just about the only harsh element remaining is Jeff Walker’s sandpaper vocals, though the (still bitter) lyrics are significantly toned down. The whole thing plods along at an unrelentingly midtempo pace with a distinct lack of energy. The leads are well played, but nowhere as inspired as on the last. Now, if the songwriting was as strong as on the last one, much of this would have been excused, but they’re just not. Largely uninteresting, though Keep on Rotting and Tomorrow Belongs to Nobody are keepers.