Since their original incarnation as a grind band, Carcass have undergone a fair amount of evolution in their past. Their seminal 1993 album Heartwork is credited with pioneering the melodeath sound that other bands like At The Gates along with early In Flames and others continued to explore. The band subsequently shocked the metal world with their indefinite hiatus, returning in 2007 and following that with 2013’s rapturously received Surgical Steel that proved there was life in the old bones yet
Returning to whet fans’ appetites ahead of a new full-length in the (hopefully not too distant) future is the new EP Despicable, with tracks culled from the writing sessions for the new record. Clocking in at a crisp twenty minutes, Despicable is a four track blast of white hot fury, careening from the blastbeat-laden opener ‘The Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue’ to the grinding closer ‘Slaughtered In Soho’. These are all top-tier Carcass material, with vitriolic barks from vocalist Jeff Walker and riffs that alternate between grinding melodicism and slamming brutality. Third track ‘Under The Scalpel Blade’ suffers only slightly despite being such an excellent track; given it follows the gigantic hook of ‘The Long And Winding Bier Road’ this is unsurprising.
It hardly needs saying but Despicable is a stunning return from the melodeath pioneers that’ll leave you wanting more. In just four tracks and twenty minutes, this EP proves why they are so influential and remain peerless. If these songs are any indication, the new material is set to be something truly special indeed.