Title: Surgical Steel
Genre: Death Metal
Release Date: 13th September 2013
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
CARCASS are among the very first bands who played Grindcore – they were founded in Liverpool, England in 1985 and changed their name to CARCASS in 1987. Throughout their career, they influenced not only the genre of Grindcore but also Death Metal and Melodic Death Metal. They dissolved in 1995 but were reformed in 2007. With ‘Surgical Steel’, the band released their first album since 1996.
With ‘Surgical Steel’, CARCASS succeeded in creating a modern Death Metal album, which nevertheless displays the band’s roots and origins in Grindcore. After the maybe self-proclaiming intro ‘1985’, the first and very short track ‘Thrasher’s Abbatoir’ offers a musical punch in the face. It attests that Death Metal may be technical and tightly played without being either too complex or too edgeless. Extremely fast riffs are joined by drums grooving like hell and harsh, demonical, yet understandable lyrics. All these elements merge to an extremely energizing, straight-forward and forceful kind music. ‘A Congealed Clot Of Blood’ is, compared to the other tracks, slower and illustrates that even mid-tempo tracks can be pretty brutal. The following ‘The Master Butcher’s Apron’ consists of rapid changes between extremely fast and protracted parts. ‘Noncompliance to ASTM F 899-12 Standard’ kicks off with a remarkable and complex guitar phrase, which reoccurs throughout the entire song.
In contrast, ‘The Granulating Dark Satanic Mills’ convinces with an almost melodic, catchy and grooving chorus. ‘Unfit For Human Consumption’ and ‘316L Grade Surgical Steel’ continue in a very straight-forward and harsh way, which does not include neither kitsch melodies nor compromises of any sort. The last song ‘Mount Of Execution’ is probably the most unusual as well as the longest album on ‘Surgical Steel’. After an acoustic intro, it includes different patterns and has, to a certain extent, a progressive attitude. Yet, the album is concluded in an interesting way. It is characteristic for ‘Surgical Steel’ that no song is like another, yet, they are all equal in quality and show different variations of Death Metal. Thus, CARCASS play their own, distinctive style, which includes innovation as well as technical abilities. With ‘Surgical Steel’, they most likely created one of the best (if, arguably, not the best) Death Metal records in 2013.
02. Thrasher's Abattoir
03. Cadaver Pouch Conveyor System
04. A Congealed Clot Of Blood
05. The Master Butcher's Apron
06. Noncompliance to ASTM F 899-12 Standard
07. The Granulating Dark Satanic Mills
08. Unfit For Human Consumption
09. 316L Grade Surgical Steel
10. Captive Bolt Pistol
11. Mount Of Execution
Jeff Walker - Lead Vocals, Bass
Bill Steer - Lead Guitar, Vocals
Daniel Wilding - Drums
Ben Ash - Guitar
Total: 9.5 /10