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That so many Carcass fans considered the fierce Death Metal assault of Swansong (1996) a sellout says something about the band's origins. Debuting in 1988 with the guttural early Grindcore of Reek of Putrefaction, the quartet established itself as one of the more extreme Metal bands around. The medically detailed and all but indecipherable lyrics to songs like "Cadaveric Incubator of Endoparasites" tend to grab attention first, but the self-consciously gory shenanigans are backed by an appropriately stomach-churning musical attack. Their murky riffs, claustrophobic drums and absurdly low-in-the-throat vocals (courtesy of onetime Napalm Death guitarist Bill Steer) established a pattern many bands would follow. After a brief recording hiatus, they reemerged in 1994 with the more cleanly produced and increasingly song-centered Heartwork, and bassist Jeff Walker's demonic mid-range replaced Steer's low growl. The aptly named Swansong put the last nail in the coffin, so to speak, offering their most accessible yet most controversial work. Whether it signaled evolution or "sellout" was something the band itself could not agree on, and they split around the time of its release.
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