Bloodstock 2014: Carcass

Sub-headlining to Emperor are the Scouse death metallers Carcass

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As the ever-grey skies of Catton Hall turn to darkest night, Carcass lay waste to the main stage at Bloodstock the only way they know how.

“Good evening Sonisphere… oh, Bloodstock”. Yep, Jeff Walker is in typically acerbic form tonight, making digs at the organisers, Megadeth and tonight’s headliners, dedicating a song to Sophie Lancaster before remarking pointedly, “The irony tonight isn’t lost on Bill [Steer] and me,” as well as attempting to crack jokes while the set is suspended after a punter collapses (“If he dies, I’m going to look like a cunt”). And yet after their half-hearted initial comeback, Carcass clearly sound like they’re enjoying themselves these days, newer tracks like Cadaver Pouch Conveyor System and classics such as Corporeal Jigsore Quandary shot through grim but utterly infectious determination as riffs are carved and rifled through with devastating precision, pummelled with d-beats and blasts and send Bloodstock into raptures as silly dancing breaks out across the field. If there’s any worry that Carcass songs lack the anthemic qualities fully work as a top-billed open-air event, the resonant melody of Heartwork brings in an epic quality that charges every particle of the evening air.

Jonathan Selzer

Having freelanced regularly for the Melody Maker and Kerrang!, and edited the extreme metal monthly, Terrorizer, for seven years, Jonathan is now the overseer of all the album and live reviews in Metal Hammer. Bemoans his obsolete superpower of being invisible to Routemaster bus conductors, finds men without sideburns slightly circumspect, and thinks songs that aren’t about Satan, swords or witches are a bit silly.