past year has been very exciting for fans
of metal music with a resurgence of popular bands reforming (Coal
Chamber) or returning from a long hiatus (Emperor,
NIN). Arguably, one of the most important announcements of 2013 was
that the British extreme metal quartet Carcass
were going to release their first album in 17 years. Featuring a
new, rejuvenated lineup with Bill Steer and Jeff Walker’s songwriting
chemistry better than ever, Carcass
delivers a relentless onslaught of death metal that brings the band back
to the forefront of extreme music.
From the very first note to the last, it is evident that 'Surgical Steel' is anything but one of those lazy "calling card" albums that merely promotes the band on tour. This album makes a bold statement and simply sounds like a brilliant death metal record! From the material it is evident that Carcass are not merely a nostalgia act rehashing dated ideas. The songs sound fresh, innovative, and this has clearly breathed new life into the band. 'Surgical Steel' has a very live feel throughout which has resulted in the raw, aggression that is displayed from start to finish.
There is a perfect blend of death, grind, extreme and classic metal influences heard throughout the record, which further demonstrated the bands musical creativity. Notably this album marks a return of the aggressively delivered, surgical inspired lyrics from Jeff Walker with songs such as 'A congealed clot of blood' and 'Cadaver pouch conveyor system', which reminisce of songs from 'Symphonies of Sickness' (1989). Personally, I think this album would stand perfectly between 'Necroticism – Descanting the Insalubrious' (1991) and 'Heartwork' (1993).
'Surgical Steel' is an absolutely brilliant comeback album and re-establishes Carcass as one of the most important death metal bands in the world. This album has received rave reviews and Jeff Walker has already hinted that there could be a possibility of another album in the pipeline. The Merseyside boys will certainly have their work cut out for themselves trying to follow this masterpiece.
Review by: Rob Herald
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