Saturday, April 13, 2024

Carcass – Surgical Steel

After Carcass initially reunited everyone was constantly asking if and when there would be new material. After a six year wait and mounting pressure from all around them they have delivered with ‘Surgical Steel‘. Of course asking this from a band of this size and significance comes with massive expectations and begs the question of what you’ll actually hear considering the styles that Carcass have covered through the length of their career and ultimately that could leave some fans unhappy? All will be answered soon.

Firstly Bill Steer and Jeff Walker are the only original members with new members Ben Ash (Pig Iron, Liquefied Skelton, Desolation) on guitar and Dan Wilding (Trigger The Bloodshed) as their new drummer. However, this is a seamless transition and if anything has only benefitted this record immensely. The guitars sound clear, vibrant yet still gritty and in your face. Having seen Dan Wilding perform myself for Trigger The Bloodshed and on other occasions he makes his presence strongly felt here adding flair where it needs to be added and being intelligent enough to know when to hold off as to push the guitars forward. In summary this is an extremely cohesive line up that have worked hard to make this record as great as possible.

So with all that in mind, what’s it like? Well, apart from purist fans of only their earlier grind albums I don’t think anyone’s going to be disappointed here, and even then there are slight elements of their early work within some of the songs. This album seems like an amalgamation of Necroticism, Heartwork and Swansong, it is laden with frantic riffs and drumming and also with plenty of melody which makes for a nice balance. The lead guitar work is fantastic and is never over indulgent and always adds to the songs rather than cheapen them, it’s similar to some of the parts on Heartwork but very much expanded on and improved. The production is also top notch, it’s that great balance between crystal clear and atmospheric, every instrument can be clearly heard whilst not detracting from a very organic and unprocessed sound which is rare in most modern metal albums.

In essence what Carcass have done is taken everything from their best work through the 90’s, managed to mould it into something that’s arguably better than the sum of it’s parts. This album is undoubtedly a death metal album but with everything that’s been added it has the feel of a heavy metal album that most metalheads would enjoy.

Favourite Tracks: Cadaver Pouch Conveyor System, Unfit For Human Consumption, Mount Of Execution

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