|Derived from the Old English word for "executioner", their moniker could not be more appropriate. It's a word that reeks of death and destruction from the Dark Ages to describe a fiercely morbid death metal band. It's hard to imagine that San Diego - known for its white sand beaches, endless sunny days and astronomical real estate - is also home to the brutal beat down that is Carnifex.
In 2005, vocalist Scott Lewis had a chance meeting with like-minded, gifted drummer Shawn Cameron. Having both played in a countless number of bands over the years that just didn't "seem to fit", the connection between the two was felt instantly. Together, they began a search to fill the musical void that had existed in each of their lives. They quickly formed a group and hit the road. Carnifex, being the serious-minded musicians that they are, hit the road hard. Refusing to be another "here today, gone tomorrow" trend, Carnifex let nothing stop them from perfecting their live show, touring relentlessly, and writing brainsick, yet intelligent, songs. Having endured everything from tour cancellations, van breakdowns and inevitable line-up changes, that "magical fit" was solidified by the end of 2007. Scott and Shawn were complemented by the intensity of guitarists Cory Arford and Ryan Gudmunds. Bassist Fred Calderon rounded out the furious fivesome.
The non-stop touring and methodical songwriting eventually resulted in Carnifex selling over 5,000 copies of their first full-length album, Dead in My Arms, with little publicity. Not surprisingly, industry types started to notice; however, none as quickly as Victory Records. The men of Carnifex were welcomed to the Victory family almost immediately after they showcased their brilliance to the staff in November 2007. Having spent a lot of time writing during the previous year, Carnifex was primed to get into the studio to begin the masterpiece that is The Diseased and the Poisoned. Zeuss (Unearth, Shadows Fall, Hatebreed) at Planet Z Studios was a natural choice for producer, and they entered the studio rapidly and intently.
Carnifex is something musically unique. What really makes Carnifex stand out from the throngs of other hard rock acts currently scouring the planet are their savage live performances. Their declaration to make every night an "experience" for fans rather than just a "show" has proven to be the most appreciated trait of the band among fans. But you can keep your pyrotechnics and other special effects at home… Carnifex relies solely on the power of their music. "Every night, we strive to play extremely tight. Sometimes it can be difficult to make such an intense show so interactive, but we make sure that everyone is getting involved," says Lewis.
In 2008, Carnifex proudly delivered their first Victory album to the metal masses. Intriguing and armed to the teeth with an arsenal of blast beats, machine gun riffs and vocals exorcised from the deepest pits of hell, The Diseased and the Poisoned is the soundtrack to your worst nightmare. Having sold 25,000 copies in the U.S. alone, this record was a huge success, solidifying their spot in the American death metal realm.
In 2010, Carnifex will debut the highly anticipated Hell Chose Me, taking a darker and more blasphemous approach to their already visceral sound. Musical growth and a higher level of aggression coupled with themes of despair and isolation make for an abrasive new record. Blood curdling screams, guttural growls, bottom heavy baselines, and razor-sharp guitar riffs make for dark and brutal work.