Thursday, December 26, 2013

"Surgical Steel" by Carcass

Brutal mode: Engaged.Carcass has returned from the hell where they condemned themselves and I could not be happier.

Recently on Facebook, it was discussed how your friend and humble narrator got into death metal. During a Spanish II assignment in High School, my partner was a big death metal fan and he turned me onto it. Napalm Death, Carcass, Entombed, Obituary, etc.

Seeing the mighty Carcass return, brings warm feelings to my heart. Even if it's only really half of them. The original drummer, Ken Owen, had some pretty severe medical issues and could not participate in the reunion tours much less this new record. The classic Heartwork Lineup guitarist, Michael Arnott, later was a major part of Arch Enemy and did participate in the tours, but could not commit to the record and he went back to his main band taking drummer, Daniel Erlandsson with him.

The Current Body of Carcass
So who in the hell are these people?

Obviously the heart of Carcass is still here: Bill Steer and Jeff Walker, guitar and bass/vocals respectively. Bill's guitar sound and dexterity set the level for death metal back in the 80's and 90's. Jeff's unique growls gave Carcass an identity set apart from the Tampa Death bands. On this albums Bill handles all of the guitars and a new drummer, Daniel Wilding, was brought on board.

Surprising to this guy was the fact that Jeff and Bill are only in their early 40's and it's been nearly 20 years since their landmark Heartwork album. So really these guys are just a bit older than me and still metal as hell. I really like that.

Well, let's look at the current record. Minus a bit of the mind blowing dual leads, this is a fantastic record. Bill and Jeff have not lost a step in brutality, creativity, and ability. The tracks on this record are staggeringly good. Blast beats have become slightly less common, making them more powerful. The guitar leads begin with beautiful, but sorrowful arpeggios into melodic lines that would make the devil cry. Jeff's still got that otherworldly snarl that would scare off a puma.

What's new to this album is the groove. The songs flow and beats blast, but the head bobs. Stops and starts. Breakdowns. This is one of the best albums I've heard in a very long time.

Year: 2013
Genre: Metal

1) 1985
2) Thrasher's Abbatoir
3) Cadaver Pouch Conveyor System
4) A Congealed Clot of Blood
5) The Master Butcher's Apron
6) Noncompliance to ASTM F899-12
7) The Granulating Dark Satanic Mills
8) Unfit For Human Consumption
9) 316L Grade Surgical Steel
10) Captive Bolt Pistol
11) Mount of Execution

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