Reek of Putrefaction
Available on CD, iTunes, AmazonMP3, eMusic and Spotify
Every time I make an effort to listen to this album, I have to admit one thing… it’s a hard listen. Not because of the music, the playing, or the guttural vocals (singing very polysyllabic lyrics straight out of medical textbooks). But because of hwo the album was recorded.
Granted, Earache in their early days – and this is one of their early classic releases – didn’t have a whole hell of a lot of money to spend on recording costs. But for their first serious go-round in a recording studio – one that was going to be reproduced on vinyl and then on compact disc – Carcass and Earache Records got a little stub, never mind just the short end of the stick, when it came to getting a decent sound.
Apparently, whoever the engineer was at the cheap studio Earache had hired was far from prepared to record a band like Carcass, who were one of the earliest bands to use downtuned guitars, blast beats, and – on this first album, at least, some deliberately pitch-shifted vocals – as part of their modus operandi. The band, at least according to Choosing Death, tried several times to remix the album before band and label threw up their hands and were forced to release it as is.
The bad recording and mixing notwithstanding, Reek of Putrefaction ended up a death metal and grindcore classic anyway. Hey, bad sound didn’t hurt the reputation of the music on the originally released mix of Iggy And The Stooges’s Raw Power, and a couple of decades later Iggy would get the chance to give the album a remix befitting the album’s title. Barring factors like the recently reunited band or the still-venerable label being reluctant to do a remix, or the original multi-tracks being either unusable or non-existent, I don’t see why not, unless the dodgy sound on the album is part of it’s charm.