The calculated precision still remains

It’s been almost a decade since Carcass made their studio return, and their latest album proves them to be just as vital and visceral as ever.

The title a tribute to former drummer Ken Owens’ teenage demo, Torn Arteries is Carcass delivering the gore with every tool of the trade at their disposal: the peculiar fluidity of Bill Steer’s leads, the gleeful malice of Jeff Walker’s vocals, splashes of grind among the trademark combination of menace and melody. Killer riffs and groove abound. There may be some still hoping for the Carcass of Symphonies of Sickness who find the chugging pace of Torn Arteries a disappointment, and despite the band’s claims of walking new territory, this is, as Surgical Steel was, a re-tooling of the sound and style they have established over the last 35 years.

There are fleeting touches of the old grind, but essentially Torn Arteries is Carcass in taking command of a different, still brutal skill set. The inexorable riff-fest that is the immense triptych Flesh Ripping Sonic Torment Limited is the centrepiece, nine minutes of epic metal glory. The monumental hook of In God We Trust sets what might be a new standard for catchiness in melodic death metal. Dance of Ixtab stomps and grooves like a march of the demented and Eleanor Rigor Mortis rips open with a hint of classic grind before dropping into the midtempo groove that sets the pace of most of the material.  The speed is gone, but the calculated precision still remains. As divisive as always, Carcass remain as vicious, heavy and unrelenting as ever. Expect few surprises. Simply revel in how good this latest album from the grand masters is.

  1. Torn Arteries
  2. Dance of Ixtab (Pomp & 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