Torn Arteries (Nuclear Blast) is the seventh studio album by the pioneers of Goregrind and major influence of Melodic Death Metal, Carcass. The record was released on September 17, 2021 after being recorded in 2018/2019, with an original release date of August 2020 (Covid squashed those plans). In December of 2019, “Under the Scalpel Blade” was released as the first single from the album under the 2020 release date. In June of 2021 “Kelly’s Meat Emporium” was released as the leading single for the album under the new release date. “Dance of Ixtab” followed in August and “The Scythe’s Remorseless Swing” in September.
It does seem strange that, if Carcass are definite multi-genre pioneers and influencers, then why have they only released seven studio records? So, Carcass formed in 1986. They’re old school! However, they disbanded in 1996 (just before the release of Swansong). This fact is so… Carcass, it should be of no surprise. The two enduring members since `86, Jeff Walker (bass; vocals) and Bill Steer (guitars), are nothing if not contrarians. The two are Vegetarians, but endlessly write about flesh and the myriad of ways to medically corrupt it. When society thinks things are good, Carcass spews venom as a wake-up. As with Covid, when the world is reeling, Carcass has nothing to say; they don’t release records. They are one of the few extreme Metal acts on a major label, but care little about dropping records simply to make money. Carcass does what they want.
In 2007 Carcass had something to say, thus they reformed. Now, this is interesting; back in 1989 Michael Amott (future Arch Enemy mastermind) joined Carcass as the 2nd guitarist to Bill Steer, formerly of Napalm Death (he played on the 2nd side of the legendary Scum record). Amott was there for Necroticism in `91 and (most certainly) the best Carcass record (IMO), Heartwork, in `93. Amott left the band right after the release of Heartwork. So, in 2007 Amott was back and, because original drummer, Ken Owen, had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, Amott brought Daniel Erlandsson (Arch Enemy) in with him. Things didn’t work out with this line-up, but Carcass still had something to say.
After many reunion shows and festivals, in 2013 Carcass spewed venom on Surgical Steel, with drummer Daniel Wilding (Trigger the Bloodshed) joining the band. The logical follow-up to their 2013 release is Torn Arteries, because Carcass are not done talking. With the addition of a 2nd guitarist, Tom Draper, a very solid band is firmly set.
Therefore, Torn Arteries (the name of demo tapes Owen had sent in years earlier) is a culmination of all things Carcass. Not since Reek of Putrefaction (1988), Symphonies of Sickness (1989) and Necrotism – Descanting the Insalubrious (1991) have we heard the wicked lower register of Bill Steer; but there is plenty of it here. Steer’s gutterals coincide well with Walker’s strong and unstrained raspy howl. Steer’s riffs and leads are incredible works of art! Whether beating our brains in on songs that match those of Heartwork (1993) or melodious layers leading us like a demented pied Piper in the likes of Swansong (1996), or the way Carcass tricks you with mid-tempo songs that shift gears – up and down – like on Surgical Steel (2013), Torn Arteries delivers the beatings at every turn.
Favorite Songs: Eleanor Rigor Mortis; Flesh Ripping Sonic Torment Limited; Wake Up and Smell the Carcass
Rating: 8/10!! It’s Carcass! A solid ass-whoopin’!