Carcass, Wooly’s, Des Moines, Iowa, March 10, 2016

Carcass previously headlined Wooly’s on November 14, 2014 with openers Exhumed and Macabre, following the British band’s comeback release of Surgical Steel. After that, I figured I may not see them again for awhile, if it all, but lo and behold…

After my traditional veggie burger time at Zombie Burger, I returned to the venue, accompanied by my friend Oscar, who was psyched to see metal bands of a different nature than Slipknot and Rob Zombie. He has such an open mind for various bands, a level I haven’t had in years, nor do I see much in others in my circle. I was excited to welcome him to Carcass, playing a headlining side gig on their current tour with Slayer and Testament.

Des Moines’ Green Death followed the initial opener, Narcotic Self, and preceded to display, again, why they are one of several Iowa metal bands who have my support by not rehashing the common, tiresome styles of Pantera-groove metal, stoner metal, or monotonous grind. Lead vocalist Sol Bales has a distinctive range akin to Leeway’s Eddie Sutton and the tight, technically skilled band operates well, with a nice balance of quick and mid tempo paces. G.D. has not escaped greater notice, as Megadeth’s Dave Ellefson is releasing their sophomore record on his label, with plans appear at the release party on April 2 at Wooly’s.

Wooly’s crowd was braced for the upcoming steamrolling from Carcass, Britain’s high class death, grind, and rot n’ roll masters, and corporate rock crushers. Even as a heavy metal fan, a limited selection of artists in the death metal and grindcore sub-genres are spun by me, due to the frequent repetitive nature of the music and laughable imagery. It takes special talent, and Carcass has delivered beautifully since recording Reek of Putrefaction and creatively maturing on each subsequent album. I regard them as the B.A. Baracus of an old school extreme metal A-Team, with Morbid Angel, Death, Pestilence, and Napalm Death completing the roster. I consider Heartwork a favorite, as well as the Wake Up and Smell the… Carcass compilation that I first bought in the ’90s.

The quartet, featuring original vocalist/bassist Jeff Walker, who’s aged to resemble the late Lemmy, and influential guitarist Bill Steer targeted the metalheads with a selection of songs sliced mostly from 2013’s Surgical Steel. The stage visuals effectively befitted their medical and surgical themes. Walker’s trademark growls were amusingly balanced by his dry humor, and Steer was rifftastic and focused attention on the intent crowd. After a precision drilling of thrashy, melodic grind, I was pleased when Carcass revisited 1996’s Swansong, their meat tenderized version of hard rock, with the choice, “Keep on Rotting in the Free World.” A twin attack of “Mount of Execution” and “Heartwork” were rocked for the encore, and the show was concluded by the video and audio of an ABBA-esque European dance track.

To experience the auditory grinding I recorded, click here. As I often urge, please show your support for the bands financially, and compose a comment or click a like for appreciation.

After gassing up outside Des Moines on our way home, Oscar and I pulled up next to a semi trailer at a light and were greeted by a cruel, morbid punchline to end the night.



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