Carcass is a grindcore/melodic death metal band formed by Napalm Death guitarist Bill Steer together with drummer Ken Owen in 1985 and is considered by many to have been one of the most influential and talented bands within the extreme metal scene.
Carcass was originally based in Liverpool. On their first demo, Sanjiv contributed vocals. In 1987, bassist and vocalist Jeffrey Walker, formerly of the Electro Hippies, joined them.
The band focused on topics mostly relating to the medical field and bizarre combinations of medical equipment and chemicals with human anatomy, such as “Intenacious, intersecting / Reaving fats from corporal griskin […] Skeletal groats triturated, desinently exsiccated”. This lyrical focus led many in the music press to falsely believe that one or more members of the band had studied medicine. There is more evidence to show that this lyrical focus was a method of pushing vegetarianism (For example, “Exhume To Consume”). Typical Carcass song titles from their early work include “Lavaging Expectorate of Lysergide Composition” and “Microwaved Uterogestation.”
Having started their career as a goregrind band, Carcass gradually changed their sound and lyrical content. Starting with the album ’Necroticism - Descanting The Insalubrious’, the careful listener could hear music-theoretic experimentation beyond the amodal noise of previous work, and even a hint of the harmonic minor scales that would later crystallise more fully. Their best-known album, Heartwork, was largely devoid of the gory lyrics and grind style that had been present on their earlier recordings, with a cleaner, more melodic sound, but retaining occasional forays out of more complex harmonies into atonal grind.
With Carcass having signed to Sony before the release of Heartwork, some fans regarded the evolved sound as proof of the sellout they had expected. In contrast, many were very receptive to what was perceived as a new zenith of talent and composition in death metal, showing a command of motif development and harmony that is underappreciated even within the metal community. In fact, today some credit Carcass with being a very early founding influence for not just one, but two genres of metal - grindcore (or, more specifically, goregrind), and the melodic death metal sound. 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. Carcass broke up in 1995 after releasing Swansong, which drew some criticism from fans for its melodic riffs which in some ways bordered on late 1980s thrash. Fanart Banner