U.K. extreme-metal trailblazers Carcass are gearing up to release their highly anticipated seventh album — the follow-up to 2013’s Surgical Steel — on August 7th via Nuclear Blast, and in a recent interview with Australia’s Heavy, guitarist Bill Steer has revealed its title: Torn Arteries. As it turns out, the name is an homage of sorts to the band’s long-sidelined original drummer Ken Owens, who suffered a brain hemorrhage in 1999.
As Steer explained, the title dates back to a demo tape that Ken Owen recorded as a teenager. “He had a fictitious band called Torn Arteries and he recorded everything himself in his bedroom — guitar, and he’d actually bang on boxes and kind of scream into the mic,” he said. “And the whole thing was so distorted, it kind of sounded super heavy, even though essentially you were listening to a guy with a Spanish guitar and a couple of boxes. I think Jeff [Walker, Carcass vocalist-bassist] appreciates the connection to the past and the fact that it was another Ken Owen classic. So that was his choice, really, and it stuck.”
He continued, “I can’t remember when this came up, but we were doing some press conference at a festival, and I think we all kind of agreed that even though Ken isn’t playing in the band as such right now, he’s kind of involved in everything we do, stylistically, because when he was so unique — when he was playing drums, his approach was just totally different,” Steer said. “Also, the riffs he came up with, they were just really far out there. They were loads of fun to learn. I still think, as a guitar player, some of the stuff was very unorthodox and it was quite a challenge. That kind of influence still runs through what we do today. Just as a friendship thing, we’re all still in touch regularly, and it’s just been great to see Ken’s life stabilizing. Basically, he has a good standard of living and he’s a happy guy.”
In December, Carcass released the digital single “Under The Scalpel Blade.” According to Steer, it will appear on Torn Arteries. Stream it below.