Excepting their earliest goregrind days, Torn Arteries takes us on a tour of Carcass’ wide-ranging style across the decades, while simultaneously trying out a few new ideas here and there. This results in an album that manages to be both backwards looking and forwards thinking, which is no mean feat.
With sharp melodic precision and chunky rhythmic groove the band lay waste to their peers. Hard rock riffs share space with death metal brutality, while progressive structures look on. The music is all extremely well-written and delivered by professionals that know the tools of their trade inside out.
Lethally catchy vocals lash out at the listener, hooking them fast. The vocals are always one of many highlights of any Carcass album. Combined with the catchiness of the music this is a winning combination. Deeper backing growls are also used more on this new album, which is a treat.
Each song has its own character and personality, offering something of its own as distinct from the other tracks. This might be the groove-based stomp of Dance of Ixtab (Psychopomp & Circumstance March No. 1 in B), the world-in-itself epic of the 10-minute Flesh Ripping Sonic Torment Limited, the remarkably old-school assault of Kelly’s Meat Emporium, the melodic earworm that is In God We Trust, or the urgent dark energy of The Scythe’s Remorseless Swing. Without going through every single track, essentially all of them are well worth your time. A particular favourite of mine is the opening title track, which is a killer tune if there ever was one, (and on this album there are ten of them).
Yes, as expected/hoped, Carcass have released a monster of an album. When compared with bands that play an ostensibly similar style, (not that there are really that many), Torn Arteries is better than most/all of what you’ll hear this year. Basically it’s a Grade A Metal album, and deserves to have a home in any metal fan’s collection.
Great stuff. Essential listening.