Carcass is an in-your-face-brutal-as-hell death metal band, whose influence has been felt in the metal industry for years. After starting out as a punk band, they eventually became major forces in the origination of Grindcore and Goregrind music. While many classic metal fans are not fans of the numerous “____-core” sub-genres, I can find a place in my heart for all of them. It is very similar to the genre snobs in the film world, as well as the people that refuse to watch anything new only because it is new.
As they moved past the gore phase, into the nineties, they quickly became one of the first melodic death metal bands ever. This was a slight transition in their genre, but their musical stylings stayed fast and furious. The Heartwork album (above) was one of the first albums released of the melodic death metal variety. All in all, it is very impressive to note their influence and creation of multiple musical stylings.
Over the years, the band has included members of Napalm Death and Arch Enemy. This has obviously helped their influence bleed into the metal world through more than one band. Since we are all familiar with band drama in all musical varieties, it is no surprise that this band has had to find multiple replacement players over the years. They have had reunions for tours and full length albums. They have had reunions that became short lived, due to members’ obligations to other bands.
Although they were very quiet in the late nineties to middle 2000’s, they still hung around. Their music appeared on metal compilations and streaming radio probably helped keep them alive as well. They were a band that even I forgot about for awhile, until they popped up on my Spotify feed. Six or seven years ago, I was very happy to revisit their work in a time when metal seemed to be getting stale.
In 2013, they released an album that really solidified their place amongst a new generation of listeners. At almost 30 years in the business, they were releasing one of their strongest albums. They showed the kids of the My Chemical Romance generation that music could still be terrifyingly brutal. They reminded us old people that nostalgia and modern inspiration could create something awesome. So while Surgical Steel isn’t even my favorite album (I’d probably make it number two or three) it was definitely the one that I had looked forward to the most.
It was a favorite for many magazines upon its release, and still has me listening to it three years later. So go out and find their stuff on Nuclear Blast Records. If you haven’t heard of them, you will not regret it. If you are re-introducing yourself to them, you will love the trip down memory lane.