Left-to-right: Michael Amott, Jeff Walker, Ken Owen, Bill Steer.
Carcass is a highly influential metal band from England, formed in 1985 and disbanded in 1995. Originally formed by guitarist Bill Steer together with drummer Ken Owen in 1985 as a D-beat
band under the name Disattack; after releasing their demo A Bomb Drops...
in 1986, Paul (bassist) and Andrew Pek (vocalist) left the band and were replaced by vocalist Sanjiv and bassist Jeff Walker, formerly guitarist and vocalist of the Electro Hippies. About that same time Bill Steer joined Napalm Death (replacing Justin Broadrick) and recorded the second side of what became ND's first album, Scum
(1987), which Walker designed the cover art of. Eventually, Disattack changed its name to Carcass.
Carcass began as a Grindcore
band, they moved onto more Death Metal
-influenced grind (known as "deathgrind") on Symphonies of Sickness
before moving onto straight-up death metal on Necroticism - Descanting the Insalubrious
and Melodic Death Metal
. They are considered one of the most influential extreme metal bands of all time, being a strong influence on grindcore and death metal bands and possibly even creating melodeath altogether. In 2007, they reunited and eventually released a new album in 2013.
- Jeff Walker - vocals, bass guitar (1987–1995; 2007–present)
- Bill Steer - guitar, backing vocals (1985–1995; 2007–present)
- Ben Ash - guitar (2013-present)
- Dan Wilding - drums (2012-present)
- Michael Amott - lead guitar (1990–1993; 2007–2012)
- Daniel Erlandsson - drums (2007–2012)
- Ken Owen - drums, backing vocals (1985–1995)
- Carlo Regadas - guitars (1995)
- Sanjiv - vocals (1985–1987)
- Reek of Putrefaction (1988)
- Symphonies of Sickness (1989)
- Necroticism - Descanting the Insalubrious (1991)
- Heartwork (1993)
- Swansong (1996)
- Surgical Steel (2013)
Tropes that apply to Carcass:
- Contemptible Cover - the first two albums, featuring collages of autopsy photos.
- Death Metal - The bulk of their material.
- Epic Rocking - The Necroticism album has their longest tracks like "Inpropagation", "Symposium of Sickness", "Carneous Cacoffiny", and "Forensic Clinicism/The Sanguine Article".
- Follow the Leader - Every death metal band who opted for ultra-eloquent, medically accurate lyrics, especially in the more grind-infused subgenres, were influenced by Carcass' approach.
- Also, the entire genre of goregrind, a genre which has been summarised as unabashed Carcass revivalism (though there were other purveyors of it out and about at the same time, particularly Impetigo and General Surgery).
- The use of growls of multiple pitches in death metal is also something pioneered by Carcass.
- Gorn - Their lyrics, of course.
- Averted since Heartwork, which focused more on social matters.
- The gorn thematics came back in Surgical Steel, but without all the loquaciousness and squick employed in the first three albums.
- Grindcore - Their first two albums.
- I'm A Humanitarian - "Exhume to Consume" is about digging up corpses to do...well, guess.
- Later Installment Weirdness: It was initially a Grindcore/Death Metal act for their first three of their five studio releases. 1994's Heartwork took a shift towards a more conventional style that became one of the biggest influences on Melodic Death Metal and other subgenres (such as Metalcore and Progressive Metal), and Swansong was a complete departure, being comprised of Blues-influenced Heavy Metal with discrete Death Metal aesthetics.
- Lighter and Softer - Heartwork and Swansong, which toned down the aggression considerably and traded in the gore-filled lyrics for socio-political and personal subject matter.
- Melodic Death Metal - Their last two albums, as well as Surgical Steel.
- Metal Scream: Bill extensively used Type 2 in the first two albums, but he's, since Necroticism, went to Type 3.
- Miniscule Rocking: The entirety of their first album. 22 songs in 40 minutes. Yeah.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness - 10/11 for their grindcore, 10 for their death metal, 9 for Heartwork, and 8 (occasionally 7) for Swansong. Surgical Steel goes back up to 9.
- Overly Long Name: "Noncompliance to ASTM F 899-12 Standard." Good luck yelling that out during a show.
- Sampling: used on Necroticism - Descanting the Insalubrious.
- Scary Musician, Harmless Music: Averted.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness - Their early lyrics actually use accurate medical terminology; you'd have to use a medical dictionary to understand a lot of it.
- Spiritual Successor - Arch Enemy (featuring former Carcass guitarist Michael Amott). Thematically, Exhumed is probably the closest candidate, as they're easily the most successful Carcass-worship act at this point.
- The Pete Best: Sanjiv.