carcass surgical steelCarcass

Surgical Steel

01. 1985
02. Thrasher’s Abbatoir
03. Cadaver Pouch Conveyor System
04. A Congealed Clot Of Blood
05. The Master Butcher’s Apron
06. Noncompliance To ATSM F 899-12 Standard
07. The Granulating Dark Satanic Mills
08. Unfit For Human Consumption
09. 316 L-Grade Surgical Steel
10. Captive Bolt Pistol
11. Mount Of Execution

[09/17/13]
[Nuclear Blast Records]

Heartwork is undeniably one of the most influential metal records of all time. Often referred to as the first melodic death metal album, it is a perfect example of what the genre is really about. However, that was in 1993, and the last Carcass record came out in 1996 and couldn’t really match the success of its predecessor. Fast forward 18 years, and Carcass are preparing to unleash their first album in almost two decades to rabid melodic death metal fans the world over. However, we’ve seen how bands do when they reunite and release an album (yes, Morbid Angel, we’re looking at you). So the question on everyone’s mind: would it be as great as it rightfully should be, or should Carcass have just stayed disbanded?

Well, to put it simply…HELL NO. This album is pure Carcass goodness. It was a pleasant surprise; Swansong didn’t live up to the hype, and then the group disbanded, or whatever you’d call it, leaving us with a less-than-spectacular record that had so much potential but never attained it. Surgical Steel is that potential being passed by, and going beyond to greatness. From the intro ‘1985’ to the album highlights ‘A Congealed Clot Of Blood’ and ‘Noncompliance To ASTM F 899-12 Standard’, this album will melt faces across the board. Also, the closer’s 8 minute run time is all filled very well; normally many bands have filler parts that detract from the songs overall quality, but Carcass did it right this time, which the entire song being chock full of death metal awesomeness.

This album also holds together the rawness of their live sets, blending in live drums sounds and guitars that have some vitality to it with studio tools like Protools. It feels as if you’re actually at one of their shows, in the front row, watching the band play. The intensity of their live shows can be felt through the headphones, which says a lot for a band that only really did that with their opus. It’s more of a return to the grittiness found on Heartwork than anything else, probably because the band knows that it suits them really well. Colin Richardson and Andy Sneap, once again, did a freaking amazing job.  The eleven songs on this record are all produced and mixed perfectly, and this helps contribute to the overall sound of the record, because let’s face it: it could be billions of times better than anything the band have ever done, but if sounds like garbage, nobody would be able to stomach a full listen without being so grossed out by the production that they move on to something that sounds better.

The best part about this album? There’s no filler tracks. Every melodic death metal album has at least one or two filler tracks, and that was always a problem, because overall it detracts from the listening experience. Surgical Steel is not only an example of what a complete album sounds like, but a message to all other bands in the genre to watch out, because if Carcass can do an album without any filler tracks, than they can too.

Carcass have returned with an unrelenting example of why they’re referred to as the godfathers of melodeath. This album, from start to finish, is a one way ticket through chaos, where the melodic leads intertwine with the menacing vocals and super-fast drums. Surgical Steel will not only meet the expectations of Carcass fans, but exceed them, likely ending up on many people’s year end lists as one of the best metal albums to come out this year. For Carcass, the future is bright, and with this new album, they’ve proven that they still got it, and that there’s no limit to the great music that they can make.

Carcass – Surgical Steel gets…

4.5/5

-SS

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