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Carcass – Torn Arteries Award winner

Torn Arteries
by Thomas Kumke at 15 November 2021, 11:12 PM

English Death Metal legends CARCASS are back with their new album “Torn Arteries”. Formed in 1986 in Liverpool, UK, and starting as Grindcore band, they became one of the most influential European Death Metal bands and have a comprehensive discography consisting of several box sets, compilations, a live album, five EPs, and now seven full-length albums. “Torn Arteries” was recorded and mixed at Ghost War Studios and at The Stationhouse, UK. The mastering was done at Jens Bogren’s Fascination Street Studios, Sweden. The album was released via German institution Nuclear Blast and it has a length of 49 minutes.

Torn Arteries” is the first album since “Surgical Steel” was released eight years ago, in fact, it is only the second album after the release of “Swansong” 25 years ago. There were, of course, numerous other releases in between, most recently their EP “Despicable”. For me, “Despicable” was a bit disappointing, so I was really wondering whether CARCASS still have the cutting edge. The songs on the new album show a great diversity in terms of tempo, structure, riffing, melodies, and concept. The title song and opener is one of the fastest track on the album and delivers all the ingredients, the fan wants to hear from a good CARCASS song: aggression, sharp guitar riffing, a certain complexity in song structure, tempo changes, twists and turns, a good solo, and the trademark vocals of Jeff Walker.

Most of the really good CARCASS songs are mid-tempo tracks and this is not different on the new album. “Dance Of Ixtab” adds a few grooves and a few catchy, head-banging riffs (at least at the beginning) to the track, and abstains from being overly complex. The lead guitar solo is very contributing with a few Rock vibes. Ixtab is the Mayan Goddess of suicide and means literally ”Woman of the robe”. “Eleanor Rigor Mortis” is also not very complex and structurally distorted, but there are a few tempo changes throughout with most notably two very fast parts at the beginning and the end. “Under The Scalpel Blade” has a dark sound overall, the riffing is grim, and especially the main riff reminds me a bit on CELTIC FROST. There are numerous tempo and rhythm changes throughout the track and combined with the typical CARCASS signature sound, it is one of the highlight on the album. Darkness prevails in “The Devil Rides Out” with added catchiness in riffing, melodies, and solo as well as a straight-forward textures framed into an oriental inspired theme.

Another highlight is the 10 minutes epos “Flesh Ripping Sonic Torment Limited” which shows the excellent songwriting qualities of CARCASS in terms of riffing, melodies, structure, and diversity. A bit faster than “Torn Arteries” is the three minutes banger “Kelly’s Meat Emporium” which comes closest to a hammering, traditional Death Metal track. “In God We Trust”, on the other hand, includes a lot of melodies wrapped into the typical CARCASS riffing. After the rather average “Wake Up And Smell The Carcass/Caveat Emptor”, the album closes with “The Scythe’s Remorseless Swing” which starts with an extended instrumental part before it transitions into a sequence of grim, but catchy guitar riffs at mid-tempo. There are numerous tempo changes throughout the track, although complexity is kept to a minimum. The lead guitar solo is, given the gloomy atmosphere a bit atypical, but altogether, the track is a classical damned good CARCASS song. “The Scythe’s Remorseless Swing” is the official video release and the YouTube link is given below.

CARCASS deliver a very good Death Metal album which has its strengths in the diverse trademark CARCASS sound, the complexity in song structures, the signature riffing, and the melodic components. “Torn Arteries” partially goes back to the band’s tried concepts, but also includes new elements, and CARCASS is not afraid to experiment. The songwriting for this album is very comprehensive to say the least, and partially outstanding. A very good production also contributes to the high quality of the album. CARCASS show that they still have the edge and “Torn Arteries” is a must have for the collection of every Death Metal fan.

Songwriting:  9
Musicianship:  9
Memorability:  9
Production:  9


4 Star Rating

1. Torn Arteries
2. Dance Of Ixtab (Psychopomp And Circumstance March No. 1 In B)
3. Eleanor Rigor Mortis
4. Under The Scalpel Blade
5. The Devil Rides Out
6. Flesh Ripping Sonic Torment Limited
7. Kelly’s Meat Emporium
8. In God We Trust
9. Wake Up And Smell The Carcass/Caveat Emptor
10. The Scythe’s Remorseless Swing
Jeff Walker – Vocals, Bass
Bill Steer – Guitars, Vocals
Daniel Wilding – Drums
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records


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