Genre: Goregrind/Grindcore (early), Melodic Death Metal/Death 'n' Roll (later)
Origin: United Kingdom
On the early albums, 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 Necroticism - Descanting the Insalubrious, the careful listener could hear music theory experimentation beyond the atonal noise of previous work and the music of their peers. 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 amodal grind.
After the release of Heartwork, Carcass received a worldwide deal with Columbia Records, who wanted to try to commercialize the band. They attempted to convince Jeff Walker to learn how to sing, but Carcass stuck to their guns and were uncompromising. 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 after releasing Swansong, which drew some criticism from fans for its melodic riffs which in some ways bordered on late 1980s thrash. Their last album also incorporated some melodic elements (Tomorrow Belongs to Nobody) and some doom metal elements (Don't Believe a Word) which almost completed the Carcass circle of being one of the most inventive metal bands.
Ken, Jeff and Carlo continued with the Blackstar project accompanied with former Cathedral bassist Mark Griffiths. Blackstar (Later Blackstar Rising) went defunct after Ken suffered from a severe brain haemorrhage. Michael Amott went on to found hard rocking combo Spiritual Beggars and Arch Enemy, a successful Swedish death metal band. In the biggest musical departure, Bill Steer reappeared in Firebird, a Claptonesque guitar-rock trio.
In June 2006, in an interview with Walker, he discussed the possibility of reforming Carcass, but it is unlikely that Steer will participate.
In a recent interview on the subject of reunion Steer said "It's a possibility 'cos it's been discussed. I've become a little bit more open to the idea. The other guys are definitely open to the idea. You never know."
- Reek of Putrefaction (1988)
- Symphonies of Sickness (1989)
- Necroticism - Descanting the Insalubrious (1991)
- Heartwork (1993)
- Swansong (1996)
- Surgical Steel (2013)
- Flesh Ripping Sonic Torment (1987)
- Symphonies of Sickness (1988)
- The Peel Sessions (1989)
- St. George's Hall, Bradford 15/11/89 (1990)
- Tools of the Trade (1992)
- The Heartwork E.P. (1993)
- Surgical Remission / Surplus Steel (2014)
- Go to Hell (1995)
- Captive Bolt Pistol (2013)
- Zochrot (2013)
- Rock Hard Presents: Gods of Grind (1991)
- Gods of Grind (1992)
- Party.San Metal Open Air - Hell Is Here-Sampler (2013)
- Carcass / Cerebral Bore (2014)
- The Earache Peel Sessions LP (2014)
- Wake Up and Smell the... Carcass (1996)
- Death Metal Live (2009)
- Wake Up and Smell the... Carcass (1996)
- Best of Carcass (1997)
- Choice Cuts (2004)
- The Complete Pathologist's Report (2008)
- Casket Case (2015)
- The Carcass (2016)
Jeff Walker - Bass, Vocals (1986-1995, 2007-present)
Bill Steer - Guitars, Vocals (1986-1995, 2007-present)
Daniel Wilding - Drums (2012-present)
Ben Ash - Guitars (2013-present)
Ken Owen - Drums, Vocals (1986-1995)
Sanjiv - Vocals (1986-1987)
Michael Amott - Guitars (1990-1993, 2007-2012)
Carlo Regadas - Guitars (1994-1995)
Daniel Erlandsson - Drums (2007-2012)