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4.00 | 4 ratings | 1 review
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EP · 2020


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


Jeff Walker / Bass, Vocals
Bill Steer / Guitars, Vocals
Daniel Wilding / Drums
Tom Draper / Guitars

About this release

Nuclear Blast, 30 October 2020

Thanks to Vim Fuego for the addition


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"Despicable" is an EP release by UK, Liverpool based death metal act Carcass. The EP was released through Nuclear Blast in October 2020. It´s the successor to the "Surgical Remission / Surplus Steel" EP from 2014, which is a release featuring leftover tracks from the band´s comeback album "Surgical Steel (2013)". "Despicable" was however originally not meant to be the next Carcass release as the band had already recorded a full-length studio album, with the tentative title "Torn Arteries", which they had plans to release in the summer of 2020. They even released the teaser single track "Under the Scalpel Blade" in December 2019 to promote the release of the album. The Covid-19 pandemic hit though and Carcass and Nuclear Blast opted to postpone the release of their next full-length album until 2021, to be able to tour in the wake of freshly released material. Carcass felt they had to fulfil the promise made of new material in 2020 though, and hence the release of "Despicable".

"Under the Scalpel Blade" is included on "Despicable" along with 3 other tracks, which are outtakes from the recording sessions for "Torn Arteries". Carcass have usually had the habit of releasing an album and then subsequently releasing an EP with leftover material (or at least they´ve done it quite a few times), but as a consequence of the circumstances they´ve done the opposite this time around. It´s too soon to say if any of the four tracks on the EP will be included on the forthcoming album, but if any my guess would be "Under the Scalpel Blade". It´s quite the brilliant death metal track and stylistically sits somewhere between the sound of the material on "Necroticism - Descanting the Insalubrious (1991)" and "Heartwork (1993)".

The three remaining tracks: "The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue", "The Long and Winding Bier Road", and "Slaughtered in Soho", are predominantly mid-paced, heavy, and slightly more traditional heavy metal/thrash metal influenced, while of course still being placed firmly in the death metal camp. Jeff Walker´s raw snarling vocals are intact, the guitar harmonies, the solid and heavy playing rhythm section, and the great guitar solos are all there and accounted for, so fans of the band won´t be disappointed with the musical direction, although I personally hope for slightly more memorable material to be featured on the forthcoming album.

"Despicable" features a heavy, powerful, and detailed sounding production job, and it´s a sound which is perfect for the material. Upon conclusion "Despicable" is yet another high quality release from Carcass, and although I wouldn´t call it a mandatory listen, it´s still great to finally hear some new material from the band. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

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