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Reviewed: November, 2020
Released:  October, 2020 Nuclear Blast
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Theron Moore

Am I the only one that finds irony in the fact that UK gore hounds, Carcass, dropped new music in the midst of the modern-day black plague in October of this year?  That’s right, the lads are back to rot the free world with their new EP, “Despicable,” featuring four songs that didn’t make the cut on a full length record the band wanted to release late summer but got shelved because of the global pandemic.

As you might guess, “Despicable” closely follows the musical roadmap laid out by 1993’s “Heartwork” and honed to perfection with 2013’s “Surgical Steel.”  Carcass in some ways have become the AC/DC of melodic death metal which isn’t a slag on the band, rather a compliment to their grasp of the genre and how well they’ve tuned into their fanbase.

Throughout “Despicable,” Bill Steer navigates the darkest of subject matter with what seems like an endless supply of deliciously heavy riffs, all delivered with his trademark horror flick approach which made the first track, “The Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue,” seem more like the movie it was based upon, than a song.  Factor in Jeff Walker’s undead vocals and the result is embalmed perfection.
On a strange and humorous note, Carcass pay tribute (in name only) to the Beatles with “The Long and Winding Bier Road” in which they visit the loneliest of places, the “memory cemetery,” a place I’m sure Eleanor Rigby may have been buried, exhumed, and reanimated at some point. Musically the song is a down tuned, mid-tempo chunk of classic Carcass metal celebrating all that is dark and ominous.  The final two tracks, “Under the Scalpel” and “Slaughtered in Soho,” round out this EP which is without argument, a must buy.

Carcass may have stumbled upon the perfect way to release music right now:  The EP. In these pandemic times where day to day life is underscored by massive unpredictability, “Despicable” is heavy enough to whet your appetite for a full-length record and short enough in duration to keep you focused on the music, in all of its morgue room glory.  “Despicable” is a must buy.

Track Listing: 

1. The Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue
2. The Long And Winding Bier Road
3. Under The Scalpel Blade
4. Slaughtered in Soho

Line up:

Jeff Walker (lead vocals, bass guitar)
Bill Steer (lead guitar, vocals)
Daniel Wilding (drums)
Tom Draper (guitar)

Buy Despicable here

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