Carcass – Despicable (EP Review)

Carcass – Despicable EP
Released: October 30, 2020

LineUp

Bill Steer | Guitars, Backing Vocals
Jeff Walker | Lead Vocals, Bass
Daniel Wilding | Drums
Tom Draper | Guitars

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Back in February 2020, extreme metal legends Carcass announced that their next album Torn Arteries would be released by August, only for some bloke in China to eat bat soup and fuck it up for everyone.

Aussies fans were going to be amongst the first in the world to experience their new music live during their tour in March (including Australia’s Download Festival) but by then COVID had made it’s way south and everything had been shut down indefinitely.

Carcass are hardly the type of band that rushes to release new music (their last album Surgical Steel was released in 2013 and that was their first new music in 17 years) and weren’t about to let a pandemic fuck up their release and tour schedule. That, and all album production and distribution facilities had been put on lockdown as well. The lads pushed back their album release date to January 2021 (fingers crossed) but in the meantime, the Liverpooleans have put out a 4 track EP to appease the die-hards.

Despicable is a hell of a way to fill the void. 18 minutes of brilliance from Carcass with some of the finest titles any body of music has ever been given.

‘The Living Dead at The Manchester Morgue’ introduces us to a relatively measured sound from the boys. Traditionally a group that plays meticulously and at speed, the band have kickstarted proceedings by easing into their opening track, relishing in the unique sound they’ve developed over the last 35 or so years, before kicking into high gear and showing off their chops. Jeff Walker’s vocals are unmistakable and have changed little since their landmark album HeartworkHearing his voice is a welcome throwback to a time when head banging didn’t mean four visits to the chiropractor and a bucket of prescription painkillers for breakfast.

The Long and Winding Bier Road’ is all about my favourite thing in the world. BEER!!!! Spell it how you like, I’ll drink it either way. This mid-tempo beast is the closest you’ll get to a dance along song from these psychos but don’t expect to hear it at Aunt Gladys’s wedding. Just grab a drink and dance along like your creepy drunk uncle in the corner. ‘Under the Scalpel Blade’ could have been written back in the 90’s and I wouldn’t have known any better. It’s closer to what you’d be used to from these mean bastards and my favourite track on this EP. The tempo changes make this the heaviest venture on this release and overall this track makes for a frowning, head bopping good time.

Bill Steer and Tom Draper kick off ‘Slaughtered in Soho’ with a dual guitar face melter that is  typical of this mobs unique sound. This is a measured delivery from the lads and a nice way to finish this four track taste of things to come. The truth is, you could have told me that they’d re-recorded or simply re-released some old songs from the Heartwork sessions and I’d have believed you.

This release is a lot cruisier than what you’ll be used to from these legends. Daniel Wilding is a drummer that sounds like he’s got more arms than everyone else out there and while this sounds like less of a workout than what he normally delivers, he produces a rock solid performance across these four tracks that helps make this EP heavy and great listening nonetheless.

The fact that these are the tracks that have been omitted from their forthcoming release shows just how good Torn Arteries is going to be. Can’t wait to hear even more of their new stuff. Bring On 2021.

Carcass – Despicable EP tracklisting

1. The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue
2. The Long and Winding Bier Road

3. Under the Scalpel Blade

4. Slaughtered in Soho

Rating 7/10
Despicable EP is out now. Stream/Purchase Here
Review by Duane James @duanejamestattoo

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