Carcass in Wolverhampton, October 2015
|Origin||Liverpool, England, United Kingdom|
|Members|| Bill Steer |
|Past members|| Michael Amott |
Carcass are an English extreme metal band from Liverpool, which was formed in 1985. The band have gone through several line-up changes, leaving guitarist Bill Steer and bassist and vocalist Jeff Walker as the only constant members. They broke up in 1996,but reformed in 2007 without one of its original members, drummer Ken Owen, due to health reasons. To date, the band have released six studio albums, two compilation albums, four EPs, two demo albums, one video album, and six music videos.
Carcass are regarded as pioneers of the goregrind genre.Their early work was also tagged as "splatter death metal", and "hardgore" on account of their morbid lyrics and gruesome album covers. They also became one of the pioneers of melodic death metal with their 1993 album Heartwork .
The band's lyrics often focus on animal rights issues. Walker and Steer are both vegetarians.Steer used to be vegan and Walker was a hunt saboteur.
Carcass was first formed as a school band by Bill Steer and Ken Owen that soon after disbanded.Steer then joined the D-beat band Disattack with drummer Middie, Paul on bass and Pek on vocals. After releasing a four track demo entitled A Bomb Drops ... in 1986, the bass player left the band and was replaced by Jeff Walker, formerly guitarist and vocalist of the Electro Hippies. Vocalist Andrew Pek changed his name to Sanjiv after a visit to India. At about the same time, Bill Steer joined Napalm Death (replacing Justin Broadrick) and recorded the second side of what became Napalm Death's first album, Scum . Walker also designed the cover art for Scum.
Disattack then changed its name to Carcass as the group changed musical direction. This led to a change in drummer and saw Ken Owen join the band.In April 1987, they recorded the Flesh Ripping Sonic Torment demo, the only Carcass recording featuring vocalist Sanjiv, who left shortly after. Walker, Steer and Owen shared vocal duties for the debut album, which was done in only four days. Despite the primitive production values of Carcass's debut Reek of Putrefaction (1988), with which the band was very displeased, it became a favourite of Radio 1 DJ John Peel. Due to his interest, they were asked to participate in their first Peel Session in 1989, where they debuted new material for their second album. The Peel Session was released as an EP with the band members adopting pseudonyms: K. Grumegargler, J. Offalmangler, and W.G. Thorax Embalmer. Also that year, Steer and Walker appeared as members of Lister's fictional band Smeg and the Heads in an episode of Red Dwarf.
Symphonies of Sickness (1989), the second album, which contained a much improved production quality (courtesy of Colin Richardson), featured more death metal structures and longer songs with more slow passages.The second half of the tour in support of Symphonies of Sickness saw the addition of second lead guitarist Michael Amott, whose previous work included Carnage. Amott was to become a permanent member, playing on the second Peel Session and contributing material towards their third album.
Necroticism – Descanting the Insalubrious (1991) showed even more intricate composition, further improved production and guitar solos.Despite the addition of Amott to the ranks, Steer still handled all rhythm guitar duties, with Amott only contributing leads and one riff. Carcass again supported the album with heavy touring, and were part of the Earache 'Gods of Grind' tour with Cathedral, Entombed and Confessor in both Europe and the United States. The Tools of the Trade EP was released in 1992 to coincide with the "Gods of Grind" tour.
The band's fourth album, Heartwork , was released in late 1993. It was considered a radical change by many fans,which eliminated Steer's deeper vocals and the clinically gory lyrics. Again, Steer handled all rhythm guitar duties, this time due to Amott losing his passport in Israel (thus making him unable to return to England in time to record). Song structures, whilst still containing musically complex parts, were simpler, in some cases using the verse/chorus/verse formula.
After the release of Heartwork, Carcass signed a worldwide deal with Columbia Records, who hoped for commercial success, even suggesting that Jeff Walker learn how to sing. Michael Amott left the band right after Heartwork was recorded, and was for a while replaced by Mike Hickey, who was later replaced by Carlo Regadas.
During the summer of 1994, Walker remixed the track "Inside Out" for a Die Krupps remix album, although the version stayed fairly true to the original with the exception of Owen's drum samples from Heartwork replacing the Die Krupps original, and additional mixing from Walker and Colin Richardson at Parr Street studios (where Heartwork was recorded).[ citation needed ]
Carcass now set about writing songs for their major label debut. During the December 1994 UK tour Carcass showcased two songs from their current writing sessions – "Edge of Darkness" and "Firmhand", both showing a more straight forward song writing approach than on previous efforts.[ citation needed ] Around this time, "Edge of Darkness" was recorded for the BBC Radio 1 Rock Show sessions – a session which could be found on later compilation albums.[ citation needed ]
By late 1994, 17 songs were ready and the band set about using their $200,000 advance to record the album, again with Colin Richardson, at Rockfield studios in Monmouth, South Wales in early 1995. During the 6-week recording schedule the record label began to withdraw support, stating that Carcass were not ready to record, and needed to write more songs. This advice was ignored, as was the suggestion to have Terry Date remix the album, and the band continued. At the time, Jeff Walker stated in an interview with the UK's Metal Hammer Magazine that the album was taking more of a classic rock approach, with drums, bass and twin guitars à la Thin Lizzy, in comparison to earlier "multi-layered guitar" productions. This has since been put down to Bill Steer's unwillingness to perform the time consuming guitar layering (as once again Steer performed all rhythm guitar) through losing interest in the metal genre.
During the Swansong recording sessions, Carcass were asked to remix a Björk track - "Isobel". This wasn't a remix as such but more of a re-recording with only Björk's vocals remaining. The track saw the light of day in March 1996 on Björk's "Hyperballad" single.
Continuing record company problems with Columbia/Sony caused the album to be delayed from late summer 1995 to June 1996, in which time Carcass moved back to Earache Records, and broke up before even releasing Swansong . The move back to Earache was dubbed by Walker as "the second great rock and roll swindle" 's actual content. Carcass also remixed Killing Joke's "Democracy" (by re-recording the music, but keeping the original vocals), although this time Regadas performed all guitar duties, as it is thought Steer had quit the band by early 1996. The Carcass "Rooster Mix" was made available on Killing Joke's Democracy . Around the time of Swansong's release, Carcass informed the press that they were ending the band without even a farewell tour, but most fans had guessed this may be the case via the album title.as they had effectively been paid twice for the same album. Swansong featured twelve of the seventeen tracks put to tape during the recording sessions. Walker has since stated in interviews that all seventeen songs should have been included in a double album, and that some songs omitted from Swansong were actually stronger than some of Swansong
The album sold well, staying near the top of the Indie Rock Chart in the UK for several months, above bands such as Placebo, despite having no touring support from the band. It is rumoured that the band were offered several lucrative tours in 1995, such as supporting Iron Maiden on their "X-Factour 95" tour, which had the album been released as expected in 1995, could have improved the band's sales and longevity.
A posthumous compilation, Wake up and Smell the... Carcass was released in October 1996 to collect together Carcass' rarer material, including unreleased material, songs only available on EPs and compilations, and live tracks. An accompanying video was released a few weeks after the Wake Up CD with little knowledge from the band or their management. The video, later released on DVD, featured five of the band's promotional videos, a show from the Grindcrusher 1989 tour (as a three piece) and a show from the 1992 Gods of Grind tour. Sound on the two live shows is poor, particularly the latter, which Walker has described as "unmixed".
Owen, Walker, and Regadas continued with the band Blackstar, accompanied by former Cathedral bassist Mark Griffiths, using the second Swansong advance from Earache to fund the recording. Blackstar, later Blackstar Rising, became defunct after drummer Owen suffered a severe cerebral hemorrhage. Amott went on to found hard rock band Spiritual Beggars and successful Swedish melodic death metal band Arch Enemy. In the biggest musical departure, Steer formed Firebird, a Clapton-esque rock band.
In June 2006, in an interview with Walker, he discussed the possibility of reforming Carcass, but mentioned that it was unlikely that Owen would participate, since he could not replicate his former drumming proficiency due to the effects of the cerebral hemorrhage he suffered in 1999.In September 2007, Michael Amott announced that he was rehearsing with Bill Steer, Jeff Walker and Daniel Erlandsson (replacing Ken Owen) in secret to rehearse old Carcass songs for a possible reunion tour. The original plans were to play at several festivals during the summer, but they couldn't meet the deadlines.
In October 2007, Carcass were confirmed to play at German heavy metal festival Wacken Open Air and Finland's Tuska Open Air Metal Festival in 2008.Carcass later embarked on a reunion tour, beginning on 6 June 2008 at the Sweden Rock Festival in Norje, Sweden. Carcass also played at Hellfest Summer Open Air, Metalcamp and several other festivals. The band toured Australia and New Zealand in 2008, and then in North America during September and October 2008, followed by the band's first South American tour, playing in Colombia, Chile, Argentina and Brazil. On 15 November 2008, Carcass headlined the Danish Metal Awards held in Amager Bio, Copenhagen, Denmark. Steer also presented the award for Best Danish Debut Album, which went to SCAMP for Mirror Faced Mentality. Carcass surprised the audience by bringing Ken Owen to the stage where he gave a brief drum solo to show how far he had come in recovering from his illness. Carcass performed an exclusive UK show at the Damnation Festival in Leeds. It was the first time Carcass had played in England in 14 years.
Carcass re-released their entire back catalogue with bonus material during 2008 on Earache Records.When asked if the band were planning on writing and recording a new album, Steer replied:
I would be very surprised if that would really happen. But never say never, I'm always the last one who needs to be convinced. Michael and Jeff are much more busy with those things than I am. I'm also not very much involved in the planning of all the festivals which are scheduled. At this moment, I barely know in which countries we're all going to play.
Carcass continued to play live in 2009, with a North American tour completed in March 2009. Carcass also headlined the Bloodstock Open Air in Derbyshire, England in August 2009. In August 2010, Carcass headlined Vagos Open Air in Vagos, Portugal, [ citation needed ] In 2012, Amott and Erlandsson left Carcass to focus on Arch Enemy.and Jalometalli Metal Music Festival held in Oulu, Finland. At Hellfest 2010, they performed the Necroticism album in its entirety.
Steer and Walker started talking about recording a new album after the reunion shows were done. They wrote some songs to see how they would turn out. According to Steer, "If it sounded like Carcass to us, we were going to proceed. We also said if it didn't feel right, we'd just drop it".Carcass recorded a new album in 2012, titled Surgical Steel . Daniel Wilding of Bristol-based deathgrind band Trigger the Bloodshed performs drums on Surgical Steel. The original drummer, Ken Owen, was also brought in to record some backing vocals on the album. Ben Ash of Pig Iron, Desolation, and Liquefied Skeleton joined the band in March 2013 on guitar.
On 26 March 2013 Carcass performed for the first time with their new lineup at the Camden Underworld in London, where they played for three nights.Carcass also performed at the Chilean music festival Metalfest in April 2013, and the Maryland Deathfest XI music festival in May 2013.
In May 2013 Carcass signed with Nuclear Blast.In Japan they signed a deal with Trooper Entertainment for the release of the new album. Carcass released Surgical Steel on 13 September 2013 in Europe, 16 September in the UK, and 17 September in North America. Overall the album received positive reviews. Surgical Steel earned a Top 50 position on the US Billboard 200 charts. After releasing Surgical Steel, Carcass headlined Damnation Festival in Leeds before embarking on the Defenders of the Faith Tour with Amon Amarth and Hell, which ran throughout Europe and the UK in November and December 2013. Carcass performed at 70000 Tons of Metal in January 2014 and headlined the Agglutination Festival on 23 August of the same year.
In a June 2014 interview with Metal Underground, Walker was asked if Carcass were going to make a follow-up to Surgical Steel. He replied, "Ultimately, as long as we feel we got somewhere to go then we would create new material. We are not just going to do it just for the sake of it. We have to feel inspired. All I can say is I do see somewhere where we can take Carcass if we choose to do another album and personally I do want to do another album. I'm not completely satisfied with any album we've made so far. I don't think we've made the classic Carcass album, that's the way I feel."
Carcass released an EP titled Surgical Remission/Surplus Steel in November 2014. The EP is a collection of unreleased tracks recorded during the Surgical Steel sessions and it is released on physical and digital formats. "Well, let's call this tying up loose ends," commented Carcass frontman Jeff Walker. "We thought we'd make all the tracks available from the Surgical Steel album session on an EP… just in case you bought the jewel case version, didn't buy the digipak, didn't buy the Japanese import, or maybe you never bought the Decibel magazine issue with the flexi disc? Well, here you go; ALL the songs on one disc along with a previously unreleased track. Even Trevor Strnad's arm makes a guest appearance! Enjoy."
Carcass continued touring. They played at Download Festival in Castle Donington 13 June 2015. Reviewing their concert, James Weaver wrote: "Carcass have proved, not only that they can play any spectrum of rock festivals, but that they still remain as one of the greats in the extreme metal genre."Carcass also headlined the "Deathcrusher 2015" tour alongside Napalm Death, Obituary, Voivod and Herod. The tour run in Europe October-November 2015. During the "Deathcrusher 2015" tour Bill Steer rejoined his former band Napalm Death on some dates to perform the classic Napalm Death song "Deceiver". Along with Testament, Carcass supported Slayer on their Repentless tour, which took place in February and March 2016.
In a statement released in early March 2018, Ben Ash announced he had left Carcass. Tom Draper (Pounder, ex-Angel Witch), a UK native based in California, made his first live appearance with the band at the Netherlands Deathfest on March 2, 2018, and his second appearance during the Decibel Metal and Beer Fest in Philadelphia on April 1, 2018.They also opened for Slayer on selected dates of their final world tour, including ForceFest in Mexico in October 2018, and Hellfest in France in June 2019.
Carcass are influenced by death metal and grindcore bands like Death, Repulsion, Master, Morbid Angel, Napalm Death, Macabre, and other acts such as Slayer, King Diamond, Cryptic Slaughter, Discharge, Siege, N.Y.C. Mayhem and Diamond Head.Otrebor of black metal band Botanist cites Carcass' use of medical dictionary terms in lyrics and song titles as a precedent for its lyrics and song titles from plant and insect dictionaries.
Carcass were briefly mentioned on the sitcom Friends as a band Phoebe likes.
On the Elementary episode "Bella", the song "Captive Bolt Pistol" is played on a mixtape that supposedly also contains a computer virus.
In the Red Dwarf episode "Timeslides", Steer and Walker appeared as members of Lister's childhood band, Smeg and the Heads.
Napalm Death are a British grindcore band formed in Meriden, West Midlands, England, in 1981. While none of its original members remain in the group since December 1986, the lineup of vocalist Mark "Barney" Greenway, bassist Shane Embury, guitarist Mitch Harris and drummer Danny Herrera has remained consistent of the band's career since 1992's Utopia Banished, although, from 1989 to 2004, Napalm Death were a five-piece band after they added Jesse Pintado as the replacement of one-time guitarist Bill Steer; following Pintado's departure, the band reverted to a four-piece rather than replace him.
Swansong is the fifth studio album by English extreme metal band Carcass. It was released on 10 June 1996 in the UK by Earache Records. It is the only Carcass album to feature guitarist Carlo Regadas. This album was intended to be their major label debut, having been signed by Columbia Records following the success of Heartwork, but disputes with that record company caused them to return to Earache. The album was re-released on 21 July 2008, as a dualdisc including the fifth part of The Pathologist's Report. It was the band's last studio release for over 17 years, until Surgical Steel was released in 2013.
Heartwork is the fourth album by British extreme metal band Carcass, and has been described as the band's "breakthrough" and "mid-period masterpiece" ,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.
Necroticism – Descanting the Insalubrious is the third album by British extreme metal band Carcass. It was released on October 30, 1991 through Earache Records. This album is the first to feature guitarist Michael Amott. Many of the tracks describe economical ways to dispose of dead bodies. Necroticism continues the move towards a predominant death metal sound which was started in Symphonies of Sickness, featuring songs with longer sections and complex structures, more akin to the then-burgeoning technical death metal subgenre.
Wake Up and Smell the... Carcass is a compilation album by the band Carcass, and is also the name of a video/DVD compilation of the band's songs. The cover is a photo of John F. Kennedy's autopsy.
Arch Enemy is a Swedish melodic death metal band, originally a supergroup, from Halmstad, formed in 1995. Its members were in bands such as Carcass, Armageddon, Carnage, Mercyful Fate, Spiritual Beggars, The Agonist, Nevermore, and Eucharist. It was founded by Carcass guitarist Michael Amott along with Johan Liiva, who were both originally from the death metal band Carnage. The band has released ten studio albums, three live albums, three video albums and four EPs. The band was originally fronted by Johan Liiva, who was replaced by German vocalist Angela Gossow in 2000. Gossow left the band in March 2014 to become the groups manager and was replaced by Canadian vocalist Alissa White-Gluz.
Scum is the debut studio album by English grindcore band Napalm Death. It was released on 1 July 1987 through Earache Records. It is widely considered a formative influence on the grindcore genre.
Michael Amott is a Swedish guitarist, songwriter, founding member of the bands Arch Enemy, Spiritual Beggars, and Carnage, as well as a former member of the extreme metal band Carcass. He is the older brother of Christopher Amott. Some major influences in his music have been Tony Iommi, Michael Schenker, Uli Jon Roth and Dave Mustaine.
Bolt Thrower were a British death metal band from Coventry, England. They formed in 1986 and released their first album with Vinyl Solution in 1988. The band then shifted to a new record label, Earache Records, soon becoming one of the best selling bands on that label. Their last label was Metal Blade Records. The band had a succession of members, and had toured Europe, the United States, and Australia. Over the course of their 30-year career, Bolt Thrower released eight studio albums, three EPs, one live album, two compilation albums and two demos. On 14 September 2016 the band announced that they were breaking up, following the death of drummer Martin Kearns exactly a year earlier.
Brutal Truth was an American grindcore band from Rochester, New York, United States, formed by ex-Anthrax, Nuclear Assault, and Stormtroopers of Death bass guitarist Dan Lilker in 1990. The group disbanded in 1999, but reformed in 2006 and continued to release music until 2014.
William Geoffrey Steer is a British guitar player, and co-founder of the extreme metal band Carcass. He is considered a pioneer and an essential contributor to grindcore and death metal due to his involvement in Napalm Death and Carcass, two of the most important bands of those genres. Presently he plays with Gentlemans Pistols, the reactivated Carcass and appeared as a live second guitarist for Angel Witch from 2011-2015.
Stigmata is the second studio album by Swedish melodic death metal band Arch Enemy. The album was Arch Enemy's first to see worldwide release, in Europe and North America on Century Media Records, and in Japan again on Toy's Factory records. Stigmata features session drummer Peter Wildoer, who had also appeared in Christopher Amott's solo project Armageddon on the 1997 album Crossing the Rubicon, shortly before the recording of the album. The album was reissued on 25 May 2009, featuring a new layout, packaging, and bonus tracks. Stigmata not only contains a title track, but a track named after their previous album as well. The Sri Lankan metal band Stigmata named themselves after this album.
Cadaver is a death metal band from Råde and Fredrikstad, Norway. The band had a brief venture in the early 1990s before splitting in 1993. Cadaver would eventually re-emerge as Cadaver Inc. in 1999 which consisted of only one founding member. For their final album, they fell back to using their original band name Cadaver and ended their activities in 2004, with their final live show in 2005. The band reformed in April 2019.
Christopher Amott is a Swedish guitarist and vocalist, younger brother of Michael Amott and founding member of the Swedish metal bands Arch Enemy and Armageddon. He is currently the touring guitarist for Dark Tranquillity.
Symphonies of Sickness is the second album by British extreme metal band Carcass. It was released through Earache Records on 4 December 1989.
Tools of the Trade is an EP by British extreme metal band Carcass. It was released through Earache Records on 23 June 1992.
Savage Messiah are an English heavy metal band formed in May 2007 in London. The band was formed by guitarist and lead vocalist Dave Silver and also consists of guitarist Joff Bailey, bassist Míra Sláma, keyboardist Carlos Alcalde De Lema and drummer Charly Carretón.
Welcome to Carcass Cuntry is a country metal album by Jeffrey Walker, of the metal band Carcass. The instrumentation is performed by notable heavy metal musicians, including Faith No More’s Billy Gould, H.I.M.‘s Ville Valo, Anathema’s Danny Cavanagh and Carcass members Bill Steer and Ken Owen. The album cover is by Larry Welz, the creator of Cherry.
Surgical Steel is the sixth full-length album by British death metal band Carcass. The album was released on 13 September 2013 in Europe, 16 September in the UK, and 17 September in North America, via Nuclear Blast. Surgical Steel is their first album since Swansong (1996). The album features the first songs Carcass has recorded since reforming in 2007. Surgical Steel is their first album with drummer Dan Wilding and their first to reach the Top 50 in UK album charts.
Surgical Remission/Surplus Steel is an EP by English death metal band Carcass. The EP consists of songs recorded during the sessions for previous album Surgical Steel and was released on 11 November 2014 through Nuclear Blast.
Carcass' following album, Symphonies of Sickness, featured slower and catchier songs, and showed the band's movement into the Death Metal genre. The next album, Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious, was pure Death Metal with intricate dynamics, complex structured songs, and refined guitar solos.