Carcass Announce ‘Despicable’ EP, Release Raging First Single

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Last year, British gore-gods Carcass revealed that they were working on a follow-up to 2013’s massive Surgical Steel, to be titled Torn Arteries. Unfortunately, the band had to put off this release due to COVID-19, but the upside is that they’ve now announced an EP titled Despicable, and have dropped the bitching first track from it today.

The song is titled “The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue,” seemingly in tribute to the 1974 horror film, and it’s latter-day Carcass to a fucking T. There’s a pendulous central riff, frantic verse parts, solos that move between acrobatic and spooky as hell, and of course all the guts-gargling gang vocals you can eat (the ending, it should also be noted, is a scalpel-waving free-for-all). While devotees to the band’s early grindcore material may gripe about this track being more modern death metal than anything else, fans of Necroticism through Surgical Steel will love every second of this one.

Check out “The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue” below:

Carcass will drop their Despicable EP via Nuclear Blast on October 30th. Check out the tracklisting and artwork below:

  1. “The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue”
  2. “The Long and Winding Bier Road”
  3. “Under the Scalpel Blade” (album version)
  4. “Slaughtered In Soho”

Interestingly enough, Carcass’ now-on-hold album Torn Arteries got its title in reference to original drummer Ken Owens.

“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,” said guitarist Bill Steer in a recent interview. “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.”

“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,” continued Steer “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.”


Words by Chris Krovatin