Carnage “Dark Recollections” (Death Metal) [Music/Review]


Year: 1990
Genre: Swedish Death Metal
Label: Necrosis Records/Earache Records

Torn Apart and Frozen
I Laugh in the Face of Death
I Take My Final Breath 

”Torn Apart”

Carnage from Växjö, Sweden and then later Stockholm, Sweden started out as a grindcore band before evolving into death metal. They were also one of the bands that helped pioneer the Swedish Death Metal (not to be confused with the Gothenburg Death Metal) sound. Carnage was the third band (after Tiamat and Entombed) to record a full-length album at the famous Sunlight studios in Stockholm. They only released two demotapes and then one album, this one.

The first wave of “Swedish Death Metal” came from Stockholm (again, not to be confused with the Gothenburg sound from Swedens other coast), and consisted of the bands Carnage, Morbid and Nihilist, who fragmented later into Entombed, Dismember and Unleashed. Many of these bands used the trademark Tomas Skogsberg/Sunlight Studios “buzzsaw” guitar tone. It was created by using heavily detuned electric guitars (usually C# standard or lower), a maxed out Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal pedal (see YouTube video at the bottom of this page), sometimes in combination with a single guitar through a Boss DS-1 Distortion pedal. The originator of this guitar sound was Nihilist guitarist Leffe Cuzner, though it was evolved and altered over the years.

Dark Recollections” was recorded during February 1990 in the now legendary Swedish Death Metal studio Sunlight in Stockholm, Sweden. Then released on Necrosis Records, a sublabel to the classic label, Earache Records. Necrosis Records was short-lived and run by Jeff Walker and Bill Steer of Carcass. The label only released three albums, apart from this one, Cadavers “Hallucinating Anxiety” and the even more classic Repulsion “Horrified”.

Apart from being released on vinyl and tape, the first CD pressing was a split CD with the earlier mentioned “Hallucinating Anxiety” album by the Norweigan Death Metal band “Cadaver”. There is also a 1990 pressing with just Carnage’s tracks on Relativity Reocrds. This is also considered to be an original version. All later re-releases have been under the Earache Records flag.

Carnage are closely related to Dismember. After Dismember temporarily split-up the two bands fused together and Dismember songs ended up appearing on “Dark Recollections”. In 1990 Mike Amott joined Carcass and so the other musicians (minus Johnny) reformed Dismember. The tracks “Blasphemies of the Flesh”, “Deranged from Blood”, “Self Dissection” and “Death Evocation” were originally Dismember songs (see Dismember’s demos). Dismember later covered “Torn Apart” on the Pieces EP from 1992.

Johnny Đorđević didn’t play bass (that was actually recorded by Michael Amott) on “Dark Recollections”, despite the fact that he appears in the album credits, just as he didn’t do the vocals on Entombed’s “Clandestine” and “Stranger Aeons“.

I can’t believe that this album was released 30 years ago! This is some real classic Swedish Death Metal with that fantastic detuned electric guitar sound that just make me extremely happy for some reason. The whole album in itself is very even, but if I had to chose one favourite track it would be “Blasphemies of the Flesh” the albums third track. Detuned, slow, fast and the slow again. Simply amazing! The only thing that keeps me from giving this a 10/10 is that maybe the last couple of songs gets a little bit too plain, nothing that sticks out. But don’t get me wrong, still awesome! This is ofcourse on my Top-10-Releases-From-Erarche-Records-Ever list. A must have!