Carcass was originally formed by guitarist Bill Steer and drummer Ken Owen in 1985 under the name Disattack. After releasing one demo the bassist and singer left to be replaced by vocalist Sanjiv and bassist Jeff Walker. They changed their name to Carcass and in April 1987, recorded the ‘Flesh Ripping Sonic Torment’ demo, after which vocalist Sanjiv departed leaving the core of Walker, Steer and Owen. They shared the vocal duties, and after just four days the classic ‘Reek of Putrefaction’ was completed. The band, with additional guitarists, released some incredible albums with ‘Necrotiscm – Decanting the Insalubrious’ being probably the highlight, but in 1995 they called it a day.
At the end of the Nineties Ken Owen suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, which meant that when a version of the band reformed in 2007 he could not be involved, so Daniel Erlandsson took his place while Michael Amott, Bill Steer and Jeff Walker played some festivals. So why all the ancient history? Well, it’s important to put into context just how significant this band was in the development of extreme music, and just how great it is to have them back again. Bill Steer and Jeff Walker have brought in drummer Daniel Wilding as Ken is still not well enough to play, and have taken ‘Necroticism’ as a starting point, cranked it up, and then blasted through any preconceived ideas.
This is crushing, crunching, dynamic stuff. The wonderful song titles are still there (“Cadaver Pouch Conveyor System” or “Noncompliance to ASTM F 899-12 Standard”) for example, but to be honest this is all about complex and complicated metal with guitar runs to die for. Metal really doesn’t get much better than this, with the only question being why on earth has it taken so long for these guys to get back into the studio. Two production heavyweights, Colin Richardson and Andy Sneap, have ensured that every nuance and every ounce of brutality has been captured on what has to be one of the most incredible comeback albums ever. It really is as if these guys have never been away, and anyone who has ever nodded a bonce to their work in the past is going to incredibly pleased with what has been delivered here. Let’s hope that they don’t wait quite so long for the next one.
With this Carcass have proved that they are back with a vengeance – stunning metal that deserves to be played at 11.