Last month, British death metal pathologists Carcass announced the release of their new EP, Despicable, alongside a ripping single titled “The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue.” Now, the band have dropped a second song from that record, this one called “The Long and Winding Bier Road,” and not only does it bring the shred, but it gets right at the heart of Carcass.
First off, hell yes “The Long and Winding Bier Road” has plenty of tasty guitar harmonies and shriek-along chorus gang vocals. But it also has lyrics with a certain level of morbid poetry to them. When Jeff Walker screams about walking down the Bier Road to the “memory cemetery,” one could hear it as drinking one’s bad memories into the ground, or exhuming them, with a couple of pints. Then again, that’s a whole lot of interpretation, and it’s also just slapping metal track, so either way, we’re here for it.
Check out “The Long and Winding Bier Road” below:
Carcass will drop their Despicable EP via Nuclear Blast on October 30th. According to Walker, the EP is made up of “some of the tracks that never quite made” their way onto the follow-up to 2013’s massive Surgical Steel, to be titled Torn Arteries. Unfortunately, that release had to be put on hold due to COVID-19.
Check out the tracklisting and artwork for Despicable below:
- “The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue”
- “The Long and Winding Bier Road”
- “Under the Scalpel Blade” (album version)
- “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