Carnifex (band)

Last updated
Carnifex - With Full Force 2014 02.jpg
Carnifex performing at With Full Force Festival 2014
Background information
Origin San Diego County, California, United States
Genres Deathcore
Years active2005–2012, 2013–present
Associated actsLegacy of Pain, Her Demise My Rise
  • Scott Lewis
  • Shawn Cameron
  • Cory Arford
  • Fred Calderon
  • Jordan Lockrey
Past members
  • Rick James
  • Kevin Vargas
  • Travis Whiting
  • Steve McMahon
  • Jake Anderson
  • Ryan Gudmunds

Carnifex is an American deathcore band from San Diego County, California. Formed in 2005, they are currently signed to Nuclear Blast after having been signed to Victory Records. They have released six full-length albums and three EPs.

Deathcore is an extreme metal fusion genre that combines musical elements of death metal and metalcore and sometimes hardcore punk. It makes use of death metal riffs and blast beats, as well as metalcore breakdowns. Deathcore gained most prominence within the southwestern United States, especially Arizona and inland southern California, which are home to many notable bands and various festivals.

California U.S. state in the United States

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents across a total area of about 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2), California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

Nuclear Blast German independent label, specialised in metal and related music styles

Nuclear Blast is a record label and mail order record distributor with subsidiaries in Germany, the United States and Brazil. The record label was founded in 1987 by Markus Staiger in Germany. Originally releasing hardcore punk records, the label moved on to releasing albums by melodic death metal, grindcore, industrial metal, power metal and black metal bands, as well as tribute albums. It also distributes and promotes two post-hardcore/metalcore labels, SharpTone Records, focused on American scene, and Arising Empire, focused more on European bands such as Novelists, Imminence, Cold Snap and While She Sleeps.



Formation and early recordings (2005–2006)

Carnifex was founded in December 2005 in Fallbrook, California. They debuted their career with a self-titled EP, which was released on May 18, 2006. It features five tracks and was distributed through Enclave Records. In September 2006, Rick James and Kevin Vargas left the band. Shortly thereafter, Steve McMahon joined on bass and Travis Whiting joined on guitar.

Fallbrook, California CDP in California, United States

Fallbrook is a CDP in northern San Diego County, California. Fallbrook had a population of 30,534 at the 2010 census, up from 29,100 at the 2000 census.

Carnifex recorded an EP before the end of 2006 titled Love Lies in Ashes , which was released through Acropolisrpm Records on March 13, 2007. [1] It was sold exclusively at shows as well as online stores such as iTunes before the group began work on their full-length debut album. [2]

<i>Love Lies in Ashes</i> 2006 EP by Carnifex

Love Lies in Ashes is the first EP by American deathcore band Carnifex. It was self-released at the end of 2006. On March 13, 2007, online stores such as iTunes and Amazon started selling the MP3 version.

iTunes media player and library software

iTunes is a media player, media library, Internet radio broadcaster, and mobile device management application developed by Apple Inc. It was announced on January 9, 2001. It is used to play, download, and organize digital multimedia files, including music and video, on personal computers running the macOS and Windows operating systems. Content could be purchased through the iTunes Store, or imported from CDs, with iTunes as the software letting users manage their online and physical purchases.

Dead in My Arms (2007–2008)

After their release of Love Lies in Ashes , Carnifex was signed to underground label This City Is Burning Records in March 2007, and they recorded their debut full length Dead in My Arms , with yet another member change. The band, though, was still a four-piece outfit, with current guitarist Cory Arford replacing Travis Whiting in March 2007. The line-up during the recording of Dead in My Arms was Scott Lewis (vocals), Shawn Cameron (drums), Cory Arford (guitar), and Steve McMahon (bass guitar).

<i>Dead in My Arms</i> 2007 studio album by Carnifex

Dead in My Arms is the debut studio album by American deathcore band Carnifex. It was released on July 12, 2007 through This City Is Burning Records. It is the band's only album with bassist Steve McMahon, as he left shortly after the album's release, and was replaced by Fred Calderon, who has played on all of Carnifex's albums since then. It is also the band's only album recorded as quartet.

Dead in My Arms was released on July 12, 2007. Carnifex began touring full-time with the record's release. Touring guitarist Jake Anderson was recruited as a second guitarist from July to November 2007. During this time, the band toured with groups such as Emmure, Whitechapel, and MyChildren MyBride, among others. The reasonable success of Dead in My Arms, and the prevalence of the deathcore genre as a whole, attracted the attention of Victory Records. In November 2007, after the departure of Steve McMahon and Jake Anderson, Carnifex signed a deal with Victory with now current members Fred Calderon (bass) and Ryan Gudmunds (guitar).

Emmure American metalcore band

Emmure is an American metalcore band formed in 2003. Originally based in New Fairfield, Connecticut, but now residing in Queens, New York, the group has a total of seven releases, with their first public release being a 2006 EP entitled The Complete Guide to Needlework.

Whitechapel (band) American deathcore band

Whitechapel is an American deathcore band from Knoxville, Tennessee. The band is named after the Whitechapel district in East London, England, referencing the series of murders committed by Jack the Ripper. The group comprises vocalist Phil Bozeman, guitarists Ben Savage, Alex Wade, and Zach Householder, and bassist Gabe Crisp. Founded in 2006 by Bozeman and Savage, the band has released seven studio albums, fourteen music videos and are currently signed to Metal Blade Records. Whitechapel's 2010 album A New Era of Corruption, sold around 10,600 copies in the United States in its first week of release and debuted at position No. 43 on the Billboard 200 chart. The band's self-titled fourth album was released on June 19, 2012 and debuted at No. 47 on the Billboard 200, selling roughly 9,200 copies in its first week. In 2014 the band released their fifth full-length album, Our Endless War to generally positive reviews. The album sold roughly 16,000 copies in its first week and debuted at no. 10 on the Billboard 200. They released their sixth full-length album Mark of the Blade in 2016 to greater critical acclaim, selling roughly 8,000 copies in the first week of its release, and in 2019, they released their seventh album, The Valley.

MyChildren MyBride is an American Christian metalcore band from Madison, Alabama. The group originally signed with Solid State Records after extensive constant touring, including various dates in European countries. After spending seven years and releasing three full-length albums with Solid State, MyChildren MyBride signed with eOne/Good Fight Music.

The Diseased and the Poisoned (2008–2009)

Carnifex's second album, The Diseased and the Poisoned , was released on June 24, 2008, and reached No. 19 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers Chart. [3] Since the release of The Diseased and the Poisoned, Carnifex toured over 22 countries with such bands as The Black Dahlia Murder, Despised Icon, Obituary, Unleashed, Finntroll, Warbringer, Parkway Drive, Unearth, Architects, Whitechapel, Protest the Hero, Bleeding Through, Darkest Hour, and Impending Doom.

<i>The Diseased and the Poisoned</i> 2008 studio album by Carnifex

The Diseased and the Poisoned is the second album by deathcore band Carnifex. It was made in 2008 and was released on June 24 of the same year. The song "Adornment of the Sickened" was released as Carnifex's first single.

The Black Dahlia Murder (band) American death metal band

The Black Dahlia Murder is an American melodic death metal band from Waterford, Michigan, formed in 2001. Their name is derived from the 1947 unsolved murder of Elizabeth Short, often referred to as Black Dahlia. The band currently comprises lead vocalist Trevor Strnad, rhythm guitarist Brian Eschbach, bassist Max Lavelle, drummer Alan Cassidy, and lead guitarist Brandon Ellis. Out of the eight studio albums they have released to date, the last seven have charted on the U.S. Billboard 200, with their fifth album Ritual peaking at No. 31 in 2011, marking them as one of the most popular contemporary American extreme metal bands. Their eighth and latest album Nightbringers was released on October 6, 2017.

Despised Icon Canadian deathcore band

Despised Icon is a Canadian deathcore band from Montreal, Quebec. Formed in 2002, the band is noted for the talent of its drummer, Alex Pelletier, whom makes frequent use of the blasting technique, as well as for its dual lead vocalists; Alex Erian and Steve Marois. Erian takes use of a mid-range growl technique while Marois performs high-pitched fry shrieks, deeper growled vocals and pig squeals.

Hell Chose Me and Until I Feel Nothing (2009–2011)

I heard someone say 'A walk down memory lane is a dead end.' Our new record is titled ' Until I Feel Nothing '. It's about a whole life lived at that dead end.

— Vocalist Scott Lewis, on his inspiration for Until I Feel Nothing [4]

On November 28, 2009, Carnifex finished recording their third full-length album Hell Chose Me , which was released on February 16, 2010. [5] The record sold more than 3,100 copies in its first week within the United States. [6] The group played the 2010 Summer Slaughter Tour in support of the album, and they toured with Unearth, All That Remains, and As I Lay Dying in September 2010. [7] On January 26, 2011, vocalist Lewis announced that the band were writing a new record. "We've been working hard on the new record. We know we have to top Hell Chose Me and were NOT letting you down! Heavier, darker and more pissed in every way[ sic ]." [6] On February 3, 2011, Carnifex embarked on a full United States tour dubbed the Names Mean Nothing Tour, during which the band was supported by Oceano, The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza, and Within the Ruins. [8]

On August 24, 2011, Lewis announced that the title for the new album would be Until I Feel Nothing . He stated that its sound was inspired while listening to the band's three studio albums and he felt like combining all of its style in one record. [4]

Hiatus (2012)

Scott Lewis performing on the Never Say Die! Tour 2013 in Cologne Scott Lewis Carnifex NSD.JPG
Scott Lewis performing on the Never Say Die! Tour 2013 in Cologne

On October 9, 2012, Lewis announced that the band would be playing their last three shows in California before an indefinite hiatus. He specifically stated that all members were still current and no one had departed from the group. Lewis also stated that he was unsure of the band's future.

"Fans and Friends. First and for most, a sincere thank you is in order to our fans and friends across the world. Without your support and passion, we are nothing. As of now, Carnifex is in a state of suspended animation. The reasons for this are many and complicated. Let me be clear in saying that Shawn, Cory, Ryan, Fred and I (Scott) are all still members of Carnifex. Let me also be clear in saying that although the future is very uncertain, I can say with optimism, that this is not farewell, but rather, until we meet again. Carnifex is now retreating into the obscurity we once came from. Be certain that us as individuals and as band-mates have a true love for this band. Our desire to create our brand of art and music has never been about trends or money. These things will not decide our future. We invite you to join us live, for the last time in the foreseeable future. We will be making these select dates as memorable as possible and look forward to seeing you there." [9]

Through December 21 to December 23, 2012, the band played three extra shows in California. [9] During the hiatus, Shawn Cameron started the symphonic metal band Unicorn Death, in which he brought his wife Diana to be a part.

Return from hiatus and Die Without Hope (2013–2015)

On June 10, 2013, it was announced that Carnifex returned from their almost year-long hiatus and would be a part of the 2013 Impericon Never Say Die! Tour line-up, replacing metalcore band Miss May I . [10] On July 9, 2013, record label Nuclear Blast announced that Carnifex had signed a record deal and would be releasing their fifth studio album Die Without Hope on March 4, 2014. [11]

In 2014, the band returned to touring with their first North American tour in two years as support for Whitechapel and Devildriver on a massive Summer co-headliner. Revocation, Fit For An Autopsy, and Rivers of Nihil also joined as the support. The band then supported Parkway Drive and Heaven Shall Burn on a November 2014 tour across all of Europe, with Northlane also joining them on the tour. They then opened for Chelsea Grin on their Ashes to Ashes tour in March 2015. Sworn In and The Family Ruin also joined on the tour.

Following an Instagram post by Mick Kenney of Anaal Nathrakh in June 2015, it was confirmed that Carnifex were in pre-production for their next album due later in 2015, with Kenney handling the production duties. The album was recorded at Audiohammer Studios in Florida. [12]

The band also opened up for Cannibal Corpse in the Netherlands in the August of 2015. The band then embarked on a 10-year anniversary tour known as the Decade of Despair tour to celebrate the band's formation in October 2015. Within the Ruins, Lorna Shore, and The Last Ten Seconds of Life joined as support. Black Tongue was supposed to appear on the lineup, but they dropped off due to denied visas. A European tour then proceeded with Fallujah and Boris the Blade joining as supports.

Slow Death (2016–2018)

The band's sixth studio album Slow Death was released on August 5, 2016. To support the new album, Carnifex joined Cannibal Corpse on the 10th annual Summer Slaughter Tour in North America, as well as Knotfest/Ozzfest. Also, two music videos were released on YouTube to promote the album, the first being "Drown me in Blood" and the second being "Slow Death."

The band also embarked on the Straight Outta Hell Tour during the autumn of the same year with the deathcore bands Oceano, Whitechapel, and Suicide Silence. [13]

Bury Me In Blasphemy and World War X (2018–present)

Carnifex released the EP Bury Me in Blasphemy on December 7, 2018. A YouTube music video for the title track was released on the same day.

On June 6, 2019, the band released a YouTube video for their new single "No Light Shall Save Us" and announced their upcoming seventh album World War X will be released on August 2, 2019.

Music style, influences and lyrics

Carnifex play an extreme metal musical style known as deathcore, which is a hybrid of the genres death metal and metalcore. [9] [14] [15] The band cites Dying Fetus, Dark Funeral, [16] Slayer, [17] Cannibal Corpse, The Black Dahlia Murder, Immolation, Dååth, [18] Dissection, In Flames, and Carcass as their main influences. [19]

Their third album Hell Chose Me features a sound relating more to death metal along with some black metal influences, as well as some aspects that the band did not visit before, such as including choruses and guitar solos into their songs. [20] However, the band's fourth studio album, Until I Feel Nothing , features much more eccentric influences, even into the realm of black metal with its themes and atmospheric elements. [21] [22] On the album, the band emphasized their black metal influences more, such as Mayhem, Burzum, Emperor, Watain, Bathory, and Cradle of Filth, among others. [23]

In an interview with vocalist Scott Lewis about the "deathcore" label, he stated, "We're not one of those bands trying to escape the banner of deathcore. I know a lot of bands try and act like they have a big problem with that, but if you listen to their music, they are very 'deathcore.'" [20]

Lyrical themes

Carnifex's lyrics are all based around negative themes. Lead vocalist Scott Lewis has stated the theme of Carnifex will always be negative even when the state of mind he is in is positive. [24] The band's first album Dead in My Arms mainly concerns heartbreak and self-harm, while all the albums by the band reference lyrics about depression, betrayal, hopelessness, anger, and hatred. [25]

Band members


Carnifex (band)


Carnifex discography
Studio albums6
Music videos7
Studio albums
List of studio albums, with selected chart positions
YearAlbum detailsPeak chart positions


Hard Rock
2007 Dead in My Arms
  • Released: July 12, 2007
  • Label: This City Is Burning
2008 The Diseased and the Poisoned
  • Released: June 24, 2008
  • Label: Victory
2010 Hell Chose Me
  • Released: February 16, 2010
  • Label: Victory
2011 Until I Feel Nothing
  • Released: October 24, 2011
  • Label: Victory
2014 Die Without Hope 982124581
2016Slow Death
  • Released: August 5, 2016
  • Label: Nuclear Blast
2019World War X
  • Released: August 2, 2019
  • Label: Nuclear Blast
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.
EPs and demos

Music videos

List of music videos, showing year released and director
2007"Lie to My Face" Dead in My Arms Robby Starbuck
2008"Answers in Mourning" The Diseased and the Poisoned Scott Hansen
2010"Hell Chose Me" Hell Chose Me Jacob Avignone
2011"Until I Feel Nothing" Until I Feel Nothing Scott Hansen
2014"Die Without Hope" Die Without Hope Shan Dan
"Hatred and Slaughter"N/A
2016"Drown Me In Blood"Slow DeathMichael Elinn, Michael R. García
"Slow Death"

Concert tours

Related Research Articles

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<i>Until I Feel Nothing</i> 2011 studio album by Carnifex

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