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Carcass  (GBR) 

       2013 - Surgical Steel  (65%)
       1996 - Wake up and smell the...  (66%)
       1996 - Swansong  (64%)
       1994 - Heartwork  (77%)
       1991 - Necroticism Descanting the Insalubrious  (91%)
       1989 - Symphonies of Sickness  (87%)
       1988 - Reek of Putrefaction  (57%)

Along with originators Napalm Death, Carcass pioneered the heavy metal subgenre of grindcore, a style that in its purest form consisted of extremely short, chaotic blasts of guitar/bass/drums noise overlaid with guttural, bleeding-throat vocals. Like Napalm Death, Carcass eventually shifted towards more traditional song structures, and then into a more accessible yet still highly intense thrash/grindcore hybrid. Where Napalm Death concerned itself with social protest in its often barely comprehensible lyrics, Carcass' early vocabulary was taken straight from medical textbooks and glossaries, achieving a bizarrely humorous gore factor most metal bands could only dream of; underneath song titles like "Vomited Anal Tract," "Excoriating Abdominal Emanation," "Crepitating Bowel Erosion," and "Cadaveric Incubator of Endo-Parasites" lay an almost pathological disgust with flesh (human and otherwise) that probably explains why everyone in the band is a vegetarian.

Carcass was initially formed in 1985 in Liverpool by guitarist Bill Steer, drummer Ken Owen, and an Indian vocalist known only as Sanjiv. Steer eventually joined Napalm Death, where he met medical student and Electro Hippies bassist Jeff Walker; Walker was added to Carcass' lineup in 1987 as both bassist and lead vocalist. Unable to pursue both musical projects at once, Steer left Napalm Death to concentrate on his original band. Carcass made its recorded debut in 1988 with the album Reek of Putrefaction, which made a strong impression in the metal underground with its astoundingly graphic artwork and lyrics, as well as the band's brutal musical attack. 1989's Symphonies of Sickness only upped the ante, throwing in enough multisyllabic medical jargon to lend an air of black humor to the band's tone. For 1991's Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious, Carcass added ex-Carnage guitarist Michael Amott, but it was apparent that the band was beginning to dig itself into a rut. After taking some time off, a reinvented Carcass returned in 1994 with Heartwork, a still crushing yet surprisingly accessible offering that introduced elements of melody and songcraft while toning down the cartoonish gore. Adding former Devoid guitarist Carlo Regedas, Carcass refined this tack on 1996's Swansong, which collected rave reviews from most metal critics despite some who thought the band had sold out its original ideals. Unfortunately, the latter viewpoint was held by Steer, whose departure was signalled by the record's title. Carcass subsequently disbanded, with several members reuniting in a project called Black Star; a rarities/outtakes collection called Wake Up and Smell the Carcass appeared later in 1996.

Band members:
Mike Amott - Guitar
Ken Owen - Drums
Bill Steer - Guitar
Jeff Walker - Bass/Vocals


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