Although thought to be a Napalm Death side project, Liverpool’s Carcass was actually formed by guitarist Bill Steer, drummer Ken Owen and an Indian vocalist named Sanjiv in 1985, well before Steer joined Napalm. Participating in both bands more or less simultaneously, he and Owen were joined in ’87 by bassist/biology student Jeff Walker, whose anatomy studies played a large role in his night job: with a claim to be “particularly interested in the digestive system,” he wrote lyrics and designed album artwork that are among the most revoltingly graphic imaginable. (For what it’s worth, the three musicians are devout vegetarians.)
Reek of Putrefaction contains 16 tracks of the trio’s distinctive “medi-core”: skull-pulverizing riffs, cardiac-arrest time-changes, guttural vocals and charming titles like “Vomited Anal Tract,” “Feast on Dismembered Carnage” and the fitting “Psychopathologist.” Steer left Napalm Death in mid-’89 to concentrate on Carcass, and the ensuing Symphonies of Sickness contains ten tracks (“Excoriating Abdominal Emanation,” “Cadaveric Incubator of Endoparasites,” “Crepitating Bowel Erosion”) of even more brutal grind. The two albums are combined onto one CD.