Carcass’ 4th album Heartwork already showed a worrying lurch towards the commercial mainstream, with the excision of the bands gory imagery and multiple vocals, but it was stuffed with enough great riffs that it still succeeded as a superior piece of death metal. By the time of 5th and final album Swansong however, the rot had really set in, with Carcass dumping Earache in an attempt to turn into major label rock stars, only to have Swansong issued posthumously on their old label after the band split with egg on their faces when Columbia promptly dropped them. There is one aspect of the classic Carcass of old that survives onto Swansong, and that is Jeff Walkers rasping death metal vocals, which sound as vicious as ever – but unfortunately musically the band have sold out big time. Where only a couple of years previously Carcass were pushing back the boundaries of death metal and grindcore with complex, twisted and intelligent brutal music, here they have transformed into a second rate big dumb rock band. Tomorrow Belongs To Nobody is the only really worthwhile track, with a nice rolling rhythm, but after that the album settles down into an unending succession of boring rock songs. With not a single blastbeat on the album Ken Owen is content to plod along with basic drum rhythms, while guitarist Bill Steer’s twisted riffing of old has been replaced by generic rock riffs. Unfortunately Swansong era Carcass is an uncomfortable mix of rasping death metal vocals and weak Iron Maiden/Megadeth-style music – vocally it’s too extreme for heavy metal fans to enjoy, and musically it’s too simple and weak for the bands previous death metal / grindcore fanbase. A depressing end for a band who were once untouchable, ultimately one has to be grateful that Carcass split after this travesty of an album rather than continue as a shadow of their former selves. What a sad end to a great, great band – Carcass die not in a blaze of glory, but with a whimper.