Death Metal legends Carcass steamrolled into the Majestic Theater in Madison, WI. With a quick 13 stops on this stretch of shows, it was a must to have made the trek into beautiful Madison, WI. Majestic Theater is a multi-level room on the lower level creating various viewpoints all around. Above the floor is a balcony. The balcony has booths and decks with chairs and tables. It creates a bit more comfort for those willing to pay for it. Normally, a show of this type would never stop here and that is part of the reason it turned out to be so fantastic. The sound at the Majestic Theater is always precise, crisp, and loud.
All of that might’ve been the reason they placed this tour here. Carcass is out touring to support their latest album “Torn Arteries”. “Torn Arteries” was released on September 17, 2021. The album itself is a no-nonsense and innovative metal classic. They perfectly blend every subgenre of metal across 10 brutal songs. From the very beginning of the album, they force one masterful riff after riff down your throat and demand you enjoy it. Lyrically, we all know their open support of various causes was strewn within cheeky This is their seventh LP and has shown a huge leap in maturity. Their songwriting and lyrical mastery have expanded over the last few releases. Even with that growth they still pay homage to their roots. This is well displayed within their live performance.
The stage had a brilliant setup. The white/silver backdrop was imprinted with a skeletonize rib cage. An obvious homage to their extreme and grindcore legacies. Set up just right of center, Daniel Wilding has his piece drum kit sitting on top of a riser. The front of his kick drum illuminates in unison with two televisions on stands that are perched on each side of him. The lighting over the stage was a hazy white. The televisions projected a “Carcass warning” on them. Reminiscent of old-time television while channels would tune out or broadcasts flipped into an emergency broadcast beacon. Quick fitting for the brutality that laid ahead.
From the start, Carcass was there to melt faces. With a slow intro, members entered the stage one by one. Jeff Walker was the last to appear. As he walked out he was screaming out to the already whipped-up crowd. Lead guitarist Bill Steer starts singing “Exhume to Consume” as Walker places one foot up on the monitor and provides backing vocals. From there the carnage kicks off. Carcass was nothing but business. Pushing out every ounce of aggression they could harness. Playing such brain scramblers as “Kellys Meat Emporium” and “Under The Scalpel Blade” from their most recent release, the temperature of the room rose and create a foggy haze naturally. Just a bit more to the visual aesthetics.
“This Mortal Coil” provided the explosion of intricate guitar work that most who love their “Heartwork” album were waiting for. With an ample amount of fingers twirling back and forth in front of Steer while laying down the intro he smiled and leaned into the crowd with every downstroke. He ate the attention up. This was a common occurrence. This was also the first time I have ever seen a circle pit within the Majestic’s historic walls. The pure savagery of the back half of the setlist provided that gritty and dirt feel a metal show should have. Providing the merciless mosh pit below with gems produced from before the band’s hiatus. Three songs from “Necroticism” were perfectly placed. “Corporal Jigsore Quandry” may have been the best of the bunch. Drummer Daniel Wilding’s best performance outside of a small solo after “Heartwork”. Wilding was the main catalyst without his pace and abilities the whole song would have fallen apart. Lucky for us all, this finely tuned machine is known for its technicality.
Heading into the final song “Captive Bolt Pistol” Walker pointed to a raucous audience right up front and commanded him to get his “lazy ass into the pit”. The crowd made an opening for him to stand in the middle of the pit. Once there the strident character raised his arms. The slow guitar strokes set in and Steer unleashes a deep rumbling growl of the beginning lyrics “Desensetiser.” The circle pit slashes its way around in its most brutal fashion yet. For 3 minutes and 20 seconds, straight chaos ensued. And with a breakdown on the count of 3, arms were raised in victory before leaving the stage for the last time that night.
Carcass gave all of the metal heads an amazing performance. The age range of the band’s faithful fans spanned at least 40 years further proving that no matter how marvelous their catalog of music is the live shows are where the magic remains. Having circle pit after circle pit could never be wrong.
1. Exhume to Consume
2. Buried Dreams
3. Kellys Meat Emporium
4. Incarnated Solvent Abuse
5. Unfit for Human Consumption
6. Under The Scalpel Blade
7. Genital Grinder
8. This Mortal Coil
9. Dance of Ixtab
10. Keep on Rotting in The Free World
11. The Sychte’s Remorseless Swing
12. Tools of the Trade
13. Corporal Jigsore Quandry
14. The Sanguine Article
16. Carneous Cacoffiny (with a short drum solo intro)
17. Captive Bolt Pistol