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Carnifex is an American deathcore band from San Diego County, California. Formed in 2005, they are currently signed to Nuclear Blast after having been signed to Victory Records. They have released seven full-length albums and three EPs. Since 2007, constant members of the band have been founding members Shawn Cameron (drums, keyboards) and Scott Lewis (lead vocals) along with Cory Arford (rhythm guitar, backing vocals) and Fred Calderon (bass guitar).
Carnifex performing at With Full Force Festival 2014
|Origin||San Diego County, California, U.S.|
|Years active||2005–present, hiatus: 2012–2013|
|Associated acts||Legacy of Pain, Her Demise My Rise|
- 1 History
- 2 Music style, influences and lyrics
- 3 Band members
- 4 Discography
- 5 Concert tours
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Formation and early recordings (2005–2006)Edit
Carnifex was founded in December 2005 in Fallbrook, California. They debuted their career with a self-titled EP, which was released on May 18, 2006. It features five tracks and was distributed through Enclave Records. In September 2006, Rick James and Kevin Vargas left the band. Shortly thereafter, Steve McMahon joined on bass and Travis Whiting joined on guitar.
Carnifex recorded an EP before the end of 2006 titled Love Lies in Ashes, which was released through Acropolisrpm Records on March 13, 2007. It was sold exclusively at shows as well as online stores such as iTunes before the group began work on their full-length debut album.
Dead in My Arms (2007–2008)Edit
After their release of Love Lies in Ashes, Carnifex was signed to underground label This City Is Burning Records in March 2007, and they recorded their debut full length Dead in My Arms, with yet another member change. The band, though, was still a four-piece outfit, with current guitarist Cory Arford replacing Travis Whiting in March 2007. The line-up during the recording of Dead in My Arms was Scott Lewis (vocals), Shawn Cameron (drums), Cory Arford (guitar), and Steve McMahon (bass guitar).
Dead in My Arms was released on July 12, 2007. Carnifex began touring full-time with the record's release. Touring guitarist Jake Anderson was recruited as a second guitarist from July to November 2007. During this time, the band toured with groups such as Emmure, Whitechapel, and MyChildren MyBride, among others. The reasonable success of Dead in My Arms, and the prevalence of the deathcore genre as a whole, attracted the attention of Victory Records. In November 2007, after the departure of Steve McMahon and Jake Anderson, Carnifex signed a deal with Victory with now current members Fred Calderon (bass) and Ryan Gudmunds (guitar).
The Diseased and the Poisoned (2008–2009)Edit
Carnifex's second album, The Diseased and the Poisoned, was released on June 24, 2008, and reached No. 19 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers Chart. Since the release of The Diseased and the Poisoned, Carnifex toured over 22 countries with such bands as The Black Dahlia Murder, Despised Icon, Obituary, Unleashed, Finntroll, Warbringer, Parkway Drive, Unearth, Architects, Whitechapel, Protest the Hero, Bleeding Through, Darkest Hour, and Impending Doom.
Hell Chose Me and Until I Feel Nothing (2009–2012)Edit
On November 28, 2009, Carnifex finished recording their third full-length album Hell Chose Me, which was released on February 16, 2010. The record sold more than 3,100 copies in its first week within the United States. The group played the 2010 Summer Slaughter Tour in support of the album, and they toured with Unearth, All That Remains, and As I Lay Dying in September 2010. On January 26, 2011, vocalist Lewis announced that the band were writing a new record. "We've been working hard on the new record. We know we have to top Hell Chose Me and were NOT letting you down! Heavier, darker and more pissed in every way [sic]." On February 3, 2011, Carnifex embarked on a full United States tour dubbed the Names Mean Nothing Tour, during which the band was supported by Oceano, The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza, and Within the Ruins. On August 24, 2011, Lewis announced that the title for the new album would be Until I Feel Nothing. He stated that its sound was inspired while listening to the band's three studio albums and he felt like combining all of its style in one record.
On October 9, 2012, Lewis announced that the band would be playing their last three shows in California before an indefinite hiatus. He specifically stated that all members were still current and no one had departed from the group. Lewis also stated that he was unsure of the band's future. Through December 21 to December 23, 2012, the band played three extra shows in California. During the hiatus, Shawn Cameron started the symphonic metal band Unicorn Death, in which he brought his wife Diana to be a part.
Return from hiatus and Die Without Hope (2013–2015)Edit
On June 10, 2013, it was announced that Carnifex returned from their almost year-long hiatus and would be a part of the 2013 Impericon Never Say Die! Tour line-up, replacing metalcore band Miss May I. On July 9, 2013, record label Nuclear Blast announced that Carnifex had signed a record deal and would be releasing their fifth studio album Die Without Hope on March 4, 2014.
In 2014, the band returned to touring with their first North American tour in two years as support for Whitechapel and Devildriver on a massive Summer co-headliner. Revocation, Fit For An Autopsy, and Rivers of Nihil also joined as the support. The band then supported Parkway Drive and Heaven Shall Burn on a November 2014 tour across all of Europe, with Northlane also joining them on the tour. They then opened for Chelsea Grin on their Ashes to Ashes tour in March 2015. Sworn In and The Family Ruin also joined on the tour. Following an Instagram post by Mick Kenney of Anaal Nathrakh in June 2015, it was confirmed that Carnifex were in pre-production for their next album due later in 2015, with Kenney handling the production duties. The album was recorded at Audiohammer Studios in Florida. The band also opened up for Cannibal Corpse in the Netherlands in the August of 2015. The band then embarked on a 10-year anniversary tour known as the Decade of Despair tour to celebrate the band's formation in October 2015. Within the Ruins, Lorna Shore, and The Last Ten Seconds of Life joined as support. Black Tongue was supposed to appear on the lineup, but they dropped off due to denied visas. A European tour then proceeded with Fallujah and Boris the Blade joining as supports.
Slow Death and World War X (2016–present)Edit
The band's sixth studio album Slow Death was released on August 5, 2016. To support the new album, Carnifex joined Cannibal Corpse on the 10th annual Summer Slaughter Tour in North America, as well as Knotfest/Ozzfest. Also, two music videos were released on YouTube to promote the album, the first being "Drown me in Blood" and the second being "Slow Death."
The band also embarked on the Straight Outta Hell Tour during the autumn of the same year with the deathcore bands Oceano, Whitechapel, and Suicide Silence. Carnifex released the EP Bury Me in Blasphemy on December 7, 2018. A YouTube music video for the title track was released on the same day.
On June 6, 2019, the band released a YouTube video for their new single "No Light Shall Save Us" and announced their upcoming seventh album World War X will be released on August 2, 2019. On January 10th 2020 Carnifex announced that lead guitarist Jordan Lockrey was leaving the band with Neal Tiemann filling in for him on their 2020 Europe tour with Thy Art Is Murder.
Music style, influences and lyricsEdit
Carnifex play an extreme metal musical style known as deathcore, which is a hybrid of the genres death metal and metalcore. The band cites Dying Fetus, Dark Funeral, Slayer, Cannibal Corpse, The Black Dahlia Murder, Immolation, Dååth, Dissection, In Flames, and Carcass as their main influences.
Their third album Hell Chose Me features a sound relating more to death metal along with some black metal influences, as well as some aspects that the band did not visit before, such as including choruses and guitar solos into their songs. However, the band's fourth studio album, Until I Feel Nothing, features much more eccentric influences, even into the realm of black metal with its themes and atmospheric elements. On the album, the band emphasized their black metal influences more, such as Mayhem, Burzum, Emperor, Watain, Bathory, and Cradle of Filth, among others.
In an interview with vocalist Scott Lewis about the "deathcore" label, he stated, "We're not one of those bands trying to escape the banner of deathcore. I know a lot of bands try and act like they have a big problem with that, but if you listen to their music, they are very 'deathcore.'"
Carnifex's lyrics are all based around negative themes. Lead vocalist Scott Lewis has stated the theme of Carnifex will always be negative even when the state of mind he is in is positive. The band's first album Dead in My Arms mainly concerns heartbreak and self-harm, while all the albums by the band reference lyrics about depression, betrayal, hopelessness, anger, and hatred.
|“||I always have written from a personal perspective. My personal life for the last few years really fell apart. Some of that was due to the nature on being in a full-time touring band and the amount of strain it puts on your life back home. Part of that was due to keeping some really damaging people in my life a lot longer than I should have.||”|
- Studio albums
|Year||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|2007||Dead in My Arms
|2008||The Diseased and the Poisoned
|2010||Hell Chose Me
|2011||Until I Feel Nothing
|2014||Die Without Hope
|2019||World War X
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
- EPs and demos
- Carnifex (EP, 2006)
- Hope Dies with a Decadent (demo, 2006)
- Love Lies in Ashes (EP, 2006)
- Bury Me in Blasphemy (EP, 2018)
|2007||"Lie to My Face"||Dead in My Arms||Robby Starbuck|
|2008||"Answers in Mourning"||The Diseased and the Poisoned||Scott Hansen|
|2010||"Hell Chose Me"||Hell Chose Me||Jacob Avignone|
|2011||"Until I Feel Nothing"||Until I Feel Nothing||Scott Hansen|
|2014||"Die Without Hope"||Die Without Hope||Shan Dan|
|"Hatred and Slaughter"||N/A|
|2016||"Drown Me In Blood"||Slow Death||Michael Elinn, Michael R. García|
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