Carcass - Despicable
Für dieses Review haben wir unseren Freund Paul, von den Londoner Grindern Basement Torture Killings, als Gastschreiber gewinnen können. Also lest hier wie die EP in England aufgenommen wird…
For anyone who has somehow missed it Despicable is the latest release from UK Extreme Metal legends Carcass. The plan originally was for a new album to be released however the current COVID pandemic has forced the medical miscreants to delay that until next year. Instead we have a 4 track EP to whet the appetite, whilst 1 of the tracks “Under the Scalpel Blade” has been confirmed for inclusion on the album the other tracks I am assuming are unique to this release. For any long-term fans of the band you will know that they tend to throw an EP of left over tracks out in addition to a new album, sometime as is the case with the “Tools of The Trade” ep the material more than holds up to the album on other occasions less so.
The EP opens up with “The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue” and it’s clear, well to me at least that the material is much more of a blend between “Heartwork” and “Swansong” as opposed to the more extreme tinged elements of “Surgical Steel”. The melodic opening riff sounds like latter period Carcass and that’s the case for the next couple of minutes or so. There is a cool little guitar lead when the main riff comes in and Jeff’s vocals are awesome as always, so far so average if I’m being brutally honest. However, at around the 2-minute mark a really decent riff drops, and the song takes off, things are looking up. Next up is a blast section and then a really weird but super cool sliding guitar riff kicks in just before the solo. As for the solo its tasteful, very bluesy and instantly Bill Steer. The track carries on and overall is enjoyable. I think special mention should also go to drummer Dan Wilding as he pulls some monster fills and really propels the song forwards. A strong start let’s see what the next track has to offer.
Next up is “The Long and Winding Bier Road” and before we go any further, I need to call out that I really love the song titles on this release. The song opens with a very melodic intro and then quickly drops into a riff that could easily have been left over from “Swansong”, vocals are also strong on this track. It’s a little slower than the opener but isn’t bad by any means, at the same time it doesn’t pack the hugest of punches.
Next up is the aforementioned “Under the Scalpel Blade” which was initially released a few months ago. If I’m honest I was slightly underwhelmed when I heard it back in July. However, listening to it now it’s a lot better than I initially thought. The song opens frenzied enough and then drops into a tom punctuated heavy riff, that again wouldn’t be too far amiss from “Swansong”. Around the 1:30 mark a section that is quintessential mid era Carcass and for a bit I’m transported back to my youth. Overall, I’d say this is the second-best song on the release with Bill Steer again putting in some killer lead work.
Lastly, we have “Slaughtered in Soho” and it starts with another very melodic riff before dropping into a slow stomping riff. In my opinion this is the least interesting song of the four and is much more a of a bluesy affair than what I personally want from Carcass, it even comes with added cowbell. That said I’m sure many will dig it, although I can’t help being reminded of the post Bill incarnation band “Blackstar” and to me this song is nowhere near as effective as the material that’s contained on “Barbed Wire Soul”.
In closing I think it’s only fair to say that Carcass have always been one of my favourite bands and that can often place an unrealistic expectation on any new release. It’s a bit like Star Wars, you can’t help but be hyped but ultimately you prefer the original trilogy. To me Surgical Steel met those lofty expectations, Despicable whilst still strong does not.
When you look at the body of their work from “Reek” through to “Despicable” I think it’s fair to say that Carcass have gone on a huge musical journey that few bands have matched and will continue to do. From blood soaked goregrind through to death metal mastery and now this latest release Carcass have always been Carcass and that is to be applauded. Despite not loving this release I am still excited for the new album. In the mean time I can always grab one of their earlier releases or even something by Exhumed, Haemorrhage and of course the ever awesome General Surgery for my Carcassesque medical fix.
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release date: 30.10.2020
1. The Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue
2. The Long And Winding Bier Road
3. Under The Scalpel Blade
4. Slaughtered In Soho
I will rise up from the chaos
I will rise up from the grave
A brother to the darkness
A master to the slaves