Carcass – Surgical Steel (2013)

imagesPioneers within the death metal genre, Carcass reform with a few new members and shiny new album Surgical Steel.  This is Carcass’ first album since reuniting in 2007.  This band is no joke, and neither is their new album.

They start strong, with a beautiful melodic instrumental, that doesn’t fully explain the extent of brutality on this album.  The second track ‘Thrashers Abbatoir’ comes smashing through and leaves no room for mercy, what a wonderful start for any death metal album.

Perilously continuing, though the heavy doesn’t hold up, a wall of noise hits your eardrums and punishes them for ever listening to anything other than Carcass.  Just under a minute in and there is a ripping solo that gives you chance to hear the melodic skill of the guitarist.

By ‘Cadaver Pouch Conveyor System’ you can really hear why Carcass are labeled melodic death metal, those guitars really know what they are doing.  The ever-pounding drums never tire and technicality-wise, this album so far is impeccable.  With solos Slayer would kill for Carcass are taking no prisoners on their, quite frankly, epic come back.

The pace slows ever so slightly for ‘A Congealed Clot Of Blood’.  This song is definitely more death than melodic and still standing strong takes on a slightly more doom tone about 2 and a half minutes in.  It gives your ears a slight chance to repair themselves, a welcome reprieve from the unflagging savagery.  They take on an old school heavy metal vibe in a true head banging style, still the album never wares, never diminishes.  Despite the constant onslaught of sound to your ears Carcass never tires, there is always something new to hear.

I think ‘Noncompliance’ is one of my favorite songs on this album, until the vocal comes in.  I don’t feel the vocals add anything to the songs, they lessen my personal experience listening to this album.

I really like almost everything on this album, but I just can’t get involved with the vocals.  Everything else is great, the guitars are beautiful and the drumming is solid throughout, it’s just that vocal.  The short solos towards the end of ‘The Granulating Dark Satanic Mills’ are prime example of how this album could stand without any vocal at all.

This album is an unrelenting vicious beast and shows Carcass, even years on, still have it.  My only problem with this album is the vocal and, though it’s my opinion, I think it ruins it.  I would rather hear more of everything else.  This is my first full Carcass album experience, and I guess death metal is about being hideously harsh but I feel it is too much.  Carcass, lose the vocals and you would have another fan.



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