October 26, 2020 Carcass – Despicable (EP Review)
Once they go, legends usually don’t return. And if they do return, the results are often mixed. For English grind purveyors Carcass, the long-awaited return absolutely met expectations. In almost dreamlike fashion, 2013 saw the band release comeback album Surgical Steel, and since that moment fans have been clamoring for even more new music. On October 30, 2020, their long wait will be over. Stopgap EP Despicable offers up four new blistering tracks, available from Nuclear Blast Records as a tease for their seventh studio album, which figures to see a 2021 release date.
The Despicable EP will be the first released Carcass material to feature new Guitarist Tom Draper, who joins superb veteran Bill Steer, Drummer Dan Wilding, and Bassist/Growler Jeff Walker to round out a lineup that successfully bridged the eras of Carcass into a fantastic and hopeful future.
If this EP is anything to go by, Carcass fans are in for an absolute treat. Melodic Death Metal is something the band helped invent when they switched their sound from the frenetic brand of Grindcore they also helped invent. The songs on offer on this EP follow on from what the band produced with Surgical Steel. “The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue” offers a nice blend of the styles which set Carcass apart from contemporaries of theirs who only became more commercial. You are taken onto many different paths with this one, as there is a proggy vibe echoing throughout.
“The Long and Winding Bier Road” hearkens back to the early 1990s with chunky chords and pure death metal swagger. Melodies abound, yet never at the expense of morbid trappings. “Under the Scalpel Blade” is a busy affair, full of timing changes that show that Carcass is unafraid to pour forth all of the elements in their repertoire. Magnificent noodling solos and melodies bloom like flowers toward the latter half of the composition, melding the hard and soft with dynamic grace. The EP closes with “Slaughtered in Soho,” which despite the aggressive name never quite goes for the throat.
All in all, Carcass is certainly firing on all crematory burners, and hopefully there will be even more aggression and fire on the full-length. For the time being, this EP will help whet the appetites of extreme metal fanatics who have been so patient these past eight years. Cryptic Rock gives the Despicable EP by Carcass 4 out of 5 stars.