FORMED in 1986, Carcass might just be the biggest band to have ever emerged from St Helens. They’re certainly the loudest.

The band have gone through several line-up changes, leaving guitarist Bill Steer and bassist and vocalist Jeff Walker, who grew up in Windle, as the only constant members.

While they might not exactly be household names Carcass are regarded as legends by extreme metal fans on account of their morbid lyrics and gruesome album covers which frequently include grotesque medical imagery. DJ John Peel was a huge supporter and picked their debut album, 1988’s Reek Of Putrefaction as his favourite LP of the year with Hollywood star Tom Hanks also said to be an unlikely fan.

Last month saw the band release their seventh album and first for eight years, Torn Arteries, with Jeff proud that the band are still going more than 30 years after they first came together.

“I think as our seventh album, it does stand out from the others both sonically and stylistically,” said Jeff. “You can definitely tell that it’s Carcass; when you drop that needle on the vinyl, when you hear that guitar tone, you can tell it’s Bill Steer, but each album is always a product of its time.

“If we didn’t care, we’d do the same generic, verse-chorus song writing bull***, but we don’t want to repeat ourselves.

"We’re always trying to remain creative and have a valid purpose in what we’re doing.”

Before Carcass, Jeff, 52, was a member of thrash metal band Electro Hippies whose lyrics spoke heavily about animal rights and vegetarianism and fans still pore over his complex, bizarre, and gore filled lyrics with affection, humour, and fascination.

“I’d rather people spend time actually going through the record, listening to it, taking the words out as they hear them, and from there try to draw their own conclusions of what the lyrics are, instead of delivering them on a plate,” said Jeff.

The album artwork also rings reminiscent of the grotesque photography that appears on classic Carcass album covers like Reek Of Putrefaction of Symphonies of Sickness.

“It’s very clean, white, which we’ve never done before,” added Jeff. “It doesn’t look evil, or typically death metal, but I like how clean it is; almost like a coffee table book.”

Torn Arteries by Carcass is out now and released on Nuclear Blast.

Jamie Bowman