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Heartwork is the fourth album by British extreme metal band Carcass, and has been described as the band's "breakthrough"[4] and "mid-period masterpiece"[5] ,as well as a landmark album in the melodic death metal genre. It was released through Earache Records on 18 October 1993. The album was recorded at Parr Street Studios, Liverpool from 18 May – 21 June 1993.

Carcass Heartwork.jpg
Cover art by H. R. Giger.[1]
Studio album by
Released18 October 1993 (1993-10-18)
Recorded18 May 1993 (1993-05-18)–21 June 1993 (1993-06-21)
StudioParr Street Studios
GenreMelodic death metal[2]
ProducerColin Richardson
Carcass chronology
Tools of the Trade
Singles from Heartwork
  1. "Heartwork"
    Released: 1994[3]
  2. "No Love Lost"

The sculpture depicted in the cover art, "Life Support 1993," was designed by H.R. Giger,[1] and is an update of a sculpture he created in the late 1960s. The video for the song "Heartwork" features a real-life interpretation of the sculpture, including a human welded as a part of it.[original research?] The album was reissued as a Dualdisc on 2 June 2008.

Michael Amott left the band after the recording of the album before founding Spiritual Beggars, and was temporarily replaced by Mike Hickey. In The Pathologist's Report, Bill Steer says Heartwork is his favourite Carcass album.[6]

The band Carnal Forge named themselves after the song of the same name from this album.[7]



Heartwork sold at least 81,000 units.[8] It spawned one single under the same name that featured the title track and non-album tracks "This is Your Life" and "Rot 'n' Roll".[3]

2008 reissueEdit

The album was re-released in 2008 as part of an ongoing series of Carcass reissues to tie in with their reunion. The main album is presented as one side of a Dualdisc, while the DVD side features the fourth part of an extended interview/documentary titled The Pathologist's Report Part IV: Epidemic. Also included in the reissue is a bonus disc including the entire album in demo form, something recorded by the band before recording the actual album in an effort to be better prepared. The demo features the same 10 songs in a slightly different order. Later editions have the DVD on a separate disc, bringing the total to 3 discs. The album is presented in a 12-panel digipak with full lyrics and artwork.

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [4]
Entertainment WeeklyC+[9]
Q     [10]     [11]
Rock Hard (de)9.0/10[12]

In an October 2007 interview, Evile frontman Matt Drake described Heartwork as "just one of the best albums ever."[13] Described in 2013 by Hank Schteamer of Pitchfork as Carcass's "mid-period masterpiece," he praised Heartwork as being "perhaps the greatest example to date of an extreme-metal band nodding to the polish and swagger of above-ground rock while retaining their core ferocity."[5] Johnny Loftus called the album the band's "breakthrough release" on AllMusic, and suggested that while "some purists might decry its melodic breaks for soloing or nods toward conventional structure[,] Heartwork is that rare album that so carefully dissects and reconstructs its original form that its additional body parts seem like they were there all along."[4]

In May 2013, Heartwork was inducted into the Decibel Magazine Hall of Fame, becoming the 100th overall inductee and second Carcass album to be featured in the Decibel Hall of Fame, right after Necroticism.[14]

In 2017, Rolling Stone ranked Heartwork as 51st on their list of 'The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time.'[15]

Track listingEdit

All lyrics written by Jeff Walker.

1."Buried Dreams"Bill Steer3:58
2."Carnal Forge"
3."No Love Lost"Bill Steer3:22
  • Bill Steer
  • Michael Amott
  • Michael Amott
  • Bill Steer
6."This Mortal Coil"
  • Bill Steer
  • Michael Amott
7."Arbeit Macht Fleisch"Bill Steer4:21
8."Blind Bleeding the Blind"Bill Steer4:57
9."Doctrinal Expletives"
  • Bill Steer
  • Michael Amott
10."Death Certificate"
  • Michael Amott
  • Bill Steer
Total length:41:55



  1. ^ Bill Steer played all rhythm guitars on this album

Additional personnelEdit


  1. ^ a b Giger, H.R. "Album Covers". Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  2. ^ Bowar, Chad. "Carcass". Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Carcass 'Heartwork E.P.'". Nottingham. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Loftus, Johnny. "Heartwork - Carcass". AllMusic. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  5. ^ a b Schteamer, Hank (11 September 2013). "Carcass: Surgical Steel". Pitchfork. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  6. ^ "The Pathologist's Report Part 4".
  7. ^ York, William. "The More You Suffer - Carnal Forge". AllMusic. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
  8. ^ Dick, Chris. "Carcass 'Heartwork'". Decibel. Philadelphia: Red Flag Media. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  9. ^ Sinclair, Tom (14 January 1994). "Heartwork: Music Review:Entertainment Weekly". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 23 August 2009.
  10. ^ Q Magazine. January 1994. p.90.
  11. ^ January 1994. p.90.
  12. ^ Kühnemund, Götz. "Rock Hard review". Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  13. ^ Morgan, Anthony (October 2007). "'Armoured Assault' - Evile frontman Matt Drake hails gargantuan Thrash masterpiece Enter the Grave". Lucem Fero. Retrieved 3 May 2008.
  14. ^ Dick, Chris. "Carcass – "Heartwork"". Decibel. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  15. ^