Carcass are legends. Pure and simple. From their humble grindcore beginnings to redefining death metal with the astonishing one-two of Necroticism – Descanting the Insalubrious (1991) and Heartwork (1993), Jeff Walker, Bill Steer, Ken Owen and Michael Amott were responsible for ushering in an age of melodic death supremacy.
And then they fucked off. For bloody ages.
2013’s Surgical Steel was their much heralded comeback and now, after a further 8 years, Carcass unleash their 7th full length opus, Torn Arteries!
Carcass have nothing left to prove….so, with Torn Arteries, they simply have fun! There’s no dicking around with formula with Carcass simply doing what they do best….and that’s crafting exemplary, groove-laden death metal songs that hit hard and hit with a self-deprecating humour that indicates they fully understand their place in death metal’s illustrious history.
“Under The Scalpel Blade” is already familiar – having been released as a single back in 2019 – but the remainder of Torn Arteries‘ 9 tracks are all brand new baby, rife with psychopomp and groove and as fiendishly melodic as ever. “Dance of Ixtab” wouldn’t have sounded out of place on the much maligned (but actually damn decent) Swansong, and “Kelly’s Meat Emporium recalls the gory days of Necroticism – Descanting the Insalubrious.
If it all sounds a tad familiar that’s NOT because Carcass are phoning it in – far from it! Jeff, Bill and the boys are just comfortable in delivering the best melodic death metal around by sticking to the blueprint they themselves created. From performance to song craft to artwork, Torn Arteries is Carcass operating at optimum efficiency with minimal tinkering. The only divergent being the 10 minute centrepiece, “Flesh Ripping Torment Limited”, which attempts something new within its epic runtime but it’s still resolutely Carcass at heart. Incidentally, accusations in already published reviews (naming no names) that this song is way too long are nonsense – it’s a banger!
Is Torn Arteries their best since Heartwork? Yeah, it probably is!
And you can’t ask for more than that. 8/10
Carcass‘ Torn Arteries was released on September 17th, 2021 via Nuclear Blast.