Ferocious and uncompromising in their execution, CARCASS’s ability to intricately dissect the innards of death metal, and display them for us to sonically understand has been their point of excellence for over three decades. On December 2019 the band released their first single in over 5 years “Under The Scalpel Blade,” followed by a 4 song EP entitled Despicable (October 2020), setting a potent precedent for the full length album to come in 2021: TORN ARTERIES. With the album title itself referencing an old demo created by original drummer Ken Owen back in the 80’s, TORN ARTERIES sits as a bookend on the modern side of the CARCASS discography, connecting directly back to where everything began over 30 years ago.
The album artwork also rings reminiscent of the grotesque photography that appears on classic CARCASS album covers like Reek Of Putrefaction or Symphonies of Sickness. Artist Zbigniew Bielak traveled outside his normal wheelhouse to bring forth a time lapsed set of photos showing vegetables shaped like a heart, rotting over time upon a white plate. This form of artwork was influenced by Japanese Kusôzu, meaning: ‘painting of the nine stages of a decaying corpse.’
With TORN ARTERIES, each track stands unique from the rest in its approach to guitar, bass, vocals and drumming, along with all the finer details. Filthy and dominating guitar work creates thick layers of tone and melody, piling on top of each other like the weight of dead flesh in tracks like “Kelly’s Meat Emporium.”
Curious about the lyrics? CARCASS bets you are, but don’t expect them to be an easy puzzle to solve. Over the years metalheads the world over have referenced CARCASS’s complex, bizarre, and gore filled lyrics with affection, humor, and fascination. This time around will require fans to actually purchase the physical album, and closely examine the artwork in order to place the lyrics in their proper order.
Most will find that the only real struggle when indulging in TORN ARTERIES is fighting the desire to start it over the second it finishes. It covers substantial new ground for a band with such a reputation, while still retaining that addictive, time honoured CARCASS sound that has come to represent the face of true death metal.