Torn Arteries

Finally we get the anticipated and delayed new Carcass album Torn Arteries.  Last year I reviewed the stop gap EP, Despicable and explained it was kind of a mixed bag with some great moments, but far too many average moments thrown in, with more Swansong moments.  So let’s get to the review to see how this compares with their last album, the outstanding Surgical Steel.

Torn Arteries is Carcass’ 7th full-length album and is 10 songs in 50 minutes, opening with the title track.  Nice drum intro and the ever present melodic death metal guitar picking is evident and then an actual nice growl courtesy of Bill Steer before the faster moment comes in.  With Surgical Steel, Steer’s ultra gurgly vocals, which I loved on the earlier Carcass albums, was a welcome return, however he was reduced to backing vocals and they were buried in the mix.  On the last EP they were a little more upfront and on this album his vocals are more front and center and he does more vocals, some in the lead capacity.  His vocals alongside Walker’s is a return to normalcy in my book.  At the 2.30 mark a monster grind blast with both doing some vocals and then going into a melo-death guitar solo.  This album opener is fantastic with solos, galloping and blast beats and the return of Bill Freakin’ Steer’s vocals-about ‘effin time!

“Dance of IXTAB (Psychopomp & Circumstance March No.1 in B)” has some mid-paced Heartwork style groove too it, and Steer adding some of the lower register moments on this heavy, melodic riff-laden song, works quite well.  This has some of the Swansong moments, the band, proving with the last album and EP, they still wanted those groovier moments present, so yes they come up, but hearing Steer’s bellow on some of these slower moments is fantastic.  This is a decent song and it should be a drinking game song-like if you fail to utter the lengthy song title correctly 3x in a row you have to pound 3 whiskey shots.  I think the entire room would be dead in 0.0 seconds.

“Under the Scalpel Blade” was the highlight on their last ep and is on this album and one of the best songs still.  The monster opening swirling blasts with the catchy guitar riffs is killer, before erupting in a monster riff-laden part that really has an early Celtic Frost flair to it.  Listen to the heavier slower riff and tell me that doesn’t sound like Celtic Frost circa 1984.  The tune has melody and heaviness calling to mind the Descanting… days and then swirling with the monster blast beats.  One of the catchiest Carcass songs and of course this will be in the upcoming live setlist.

“Flesh Ripping Torment Limited” is the longest Carcass song ever at close to 10 minutes.  Nice acoustic opening moment and then a nice start n stop riff moment with the drums and it continues with Walker’s scathing vocals.  Some fancy and excellent drum work and Steer letting in some low vocals.  There is a lot of monster riffing and moody atmosphere on this song.  The most moody Carcass song ever and when you have a song this long you can put all those moments in.  I was surprised the band failed to throw in a blast beat on a song this long; however, they went for a statement in this experimental song.  Surprisingly it’s actually good, and it’s extremely catchy-no one can deny that.

“Kelly’s Meat Emporium” is an excellent song title and song.  Excellent rhythm section on this track with nice galloping beats and killer guitar riffing.  At the 44 second part the song erupts into a vicious blast with Steer and Walker trading off vocal lines and sounding perfect!  One of the best songs on this album-needs to be in their setlist.

Torn Arteries is an excellent Carcass album featuring the best production they’ve achieved-yes even better than Surgical Steel.  Crisp and pristine, and the welcome return of Bill Steer’s guttural bellows are absolutely fantastic.  The album cover with the vegetable heart is weird.  Striking cover, with the white background, but it’s a bit meh with the classic Carcass logo missing.  In fact if you were shopping at the store and saw the cover for the first time you would not know who released the album.  Big downer-that classic Carcass logo should have been on this.

Is Torn Arteries better than Surgical Steel?? Hmmmmm, not too sure, I need to listen to this more, but I can tell you, probably so and that’s because not only is this the best musicianship for Carcass but you know it…wait for it…..wait for it…Yes the return of Bill Steer’s vocals really does it for me.  Killer freakin’ album!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
August 30th, 2021


  1. Commented by: Don

    the Carcass logo is there’s on the main ventricle of the heart …it’s in black . look closely !!!

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