Over thirty years ago, England’s own Carcass came to the scene and shared their glorification of grind and gore. The unhinged and manic sound they conjured found an audience and quickly gained popularity, along with their contemporaries Napalm Death and Godflesh. The surge of the extreme had its time in the sun, but after their 10 year hiatus, Carcass came back in a slightly different mood. In 2013, the group took their well-known viciousness and molded it in with more melody on their sixth full-length, Surgical Steel (Nuclear Blast). They married Grindcore and Melodic Death Metal on that record which got a lot of attention and reminded everyone why these guys are such an original act. After seven years, the band is back again with their EP, Despicable (Nuclear Blast). In just four songs, Carcass takes their significant union of sounds and exemplifies them with new levels of pandemonium.
The EP cracks open with a spooky-filled setting in the song, ‘The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue’. A foreboding steadily creeps forward through the dexterous guitar work that immediately plunges into the senses and hooks the listener for the next nineteen minutes. A mosh pit opens up as the song breeches into breakdowns and brief blast beats. Their early Grindcore roots are exposed with the huge intensity and frantic activity. The back and forth of chaos and groove create this incredible balancing act of speed, savagery, and sophistication. The rasp and eerie screeches of frontman Jeff Walker keeps the group’s well-known carnage vibe strong. Then the piece with a pun, ‘The Long and Winding Bier Road’ presents itself. The fortitude of the thick and chunky guitar work of Bill Steer and the newest member, Tom Draper impressively stands out and carries a lot of the band’s momentum. There is a major influence of melody strategically interjected throughout each piece that harps on the pulsating passion that reveals the group’s frustrations and exasperations.
‘Under the Scalpel Blade’ highlights their classic earnestness with hints from their early work on the album Heartwork (Earache Records). They find this incredible platform that declares aggression and sensitivity. The chug and crustiness clinging to the song’s movements lift their iconic, thriving filth. The guitars continue to glare and gouge at the senses. Then the intricate work from drummer Daniel Wilding accentuates a range of emotion and skill. ‘Slaughtered in Soho’ caps the short experience with a lighter, more rock ‘n roll impression which still highlights the creativity and prominence of guitarists Steer and Draper.
This EP carries the same enormity and innovative spirit as Surgical Steel. The weight of the rhythm work, riffing, and rage makes these four songs epically potent. The anticipation to see where their ambitious sounds advance to on their next full-length album is rapidly growing.
8 / 10