Album review: Carcass – Torn arteries
Atypical titles, typical sound
Even if it is made of vegetables, the cover art for the long awaited Torn arteries album is a medically accurate representation of a heart. It’s a shame the music on the album doesn’t seem to have as much heart as the cover art suggests. Although it was a pleasant listening, Torn arteries did not change life. It seemed to be missing a signature sound to really make it stand out.
This album was very punchy, clean and had a high production value. However, it didn’t seem like it was written in a collaborative environment. It sounded more like different parts were written in different rooms and then put together to try and make a song. On top of that, the songs sound like they’ve been thoughtlessly put together to create an album. Obviously these guys are real musicians, but this album just doesn’t sound cohesive or complete.
The album opens with a short but intense drum fill, courtesy of Dan Wilding, on the title track “Torn Arteries”. It is quickly followed by a guitar riff presenting a very obvious choice for the genre, the minor double harmonic scale. It then jumps into a segment of classic thrasher vibes and layers of syncopated lyrics to drive the intensity to a short and slightly fulfilling groove. Her bridge was a pretty masterful guitar solo, and then the song ended as abruptly as it started. This track would have been better placed at the end of the album.
The track which would serve better opening could be “Wake Up And Smell the Carcass / Caveat Emptor”. This song will wake people up with bulging eyes and make them travel. “Buyer Beware” that this piece is not just a simple wall of sounds; it’s a whole saga of well-integrated composition. Now that’s a solid opening.
The most notable song was “Eleanor Rigor Mortis”. Apart from the punny track, it had an extended and much appreciated groove ready for the mosh. Metalheads are always looking for a good groove and a good song. It also brought Bill Steer’s guitar skills to the fore with a killer opening solo, ending solo, and several stacked licks that added intrigue due to his slight Middle Eastern influence.
On the song “Under The Scalpel Blade”, the lyrics “Caduceus rise; Caduceus writhe ”produced such vivid images but fell flat because it didn’t have such a vivid musical theme. With words alone, one could just imagine the Caduceus coming to life in the operating room; the serpent escaping from the rod of Asclepius then sliding away, joining us from birth or death, or in their own words: “From motherhood to the cold morgue”. Think about the impact that would have, it was also represented in aural way.
The album ends better than it started. With a bit of a pun, “The Scythe’s Remorseless Swing” gave a sweet bluesy / swing intro to a strongly menacing song. You could imagine the Grim Reaper having fun walking the route of this song before going completely wild. This musical style deviance was very well received.
The album art is certainly stimulating and with song titles such as “Kelly’s Meat Emporium” and “Dance Of Ixtab (Psychopomp & Circumstance March No. 1)”, the song names and many lyrics are literary fire. absolute, but the real music left something to be desired.
The very end of the album offered the listener the sound of flies buzzing around what one might assume to be a dead carcass. It symbolizes that even if something is dead, it can still bring something else to life. Carcass’ founding fathers Steer and Jeff Walker may be vegetarians, but that doesn’t mean they eat the same thing every day. It’s time for them to spice things up and add a little signature sauce. Torn arteries isn’t a quintessential addition to the death metal genre, but it’s certainly a debut after the band’s long hiatus, and it will be intriguing to see what else Carcass can serve.