Release Date: 30/10/2020
Record Label: Nuclear Blast
For Fans Of: At The Gates, Bolt Thrower, Bloodbath
Since reforming in 2007, it seems like the world has finally come to appreciate Carcass for the true extreme metal innovators they are. Their seminal 1993 album Heartwork was just as important to the development of melodic-death metal as it’s Gothenburg counterparts and despite splitting up just three years later, the band’s influence formed the sonic template for countless acts that would follow. With 2013’s Surgical Steel, Carcass made sure the world knew they were back with arguably the best album of their career and the fact that they have been touring off the back of it for the last seven years shows just what an achievement it was, and how difficult it will be to follow up.
Acting as a bit of a prelude, Despicable gives us our first taste of new Carcass music before the main course of a new full length album is released in 2021. Anyone familiar with Carcass will know exactly what to expect, and with new releases from the band being very rare nowadays sticking to what works is hardly going to upset any long-time fans. ‘The Living Dead at The Manchester Morgue’ sets the tone by leaning into the melodic side of the band overlaid with gore-spattered overtones and even squeezes in some really interesting rhythm work in the second half. ‘The Long and Winding Bier Road’ follows in a pretty similar fashion however this time with a chorus that wouldn’t be out of place in a Killswitch Engage track. The most interesting track though comes with ‘Under The Scalpel Blade’ which has equal parts groove-metal stomp, typically technical death-metal riffing and some soaring lead work that could have been ripped straight from a power metal song.
As usual Carcass manage to maintain their grim death-metal underbelly while packing in plenty of melodic passages to give these songs some character. If these tracks are the ones which didn’t make it onto the album, we can’t wait to hear what the band have in store for us next year.
Recommended Tracks: ‘Under The Scalpel Blade’