Album Reviews, Culture, Metal / Hard Rock — September 30, 2013 at 4:50 pm

REVIEW: Carcass – Surgical Steel



Artist Name: Carcass
Title Name: Surgical Steel
Label: Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by: Fabio Marraccini



The thing most (death) metalheads in the planet wanted to find under their Christmas tree actually arrived way before actual Christmas time: a new studio album from legendary British band Carcass. While this reunion album might be missing drummer Ken Owen (who still does guest vocals on the album) and guitarist Michael Amott from their classic line-up, it’s not missing out on anything else. Bassist/vocalist Jeff Walker and guitarist Bill Steer kept the musical integrity of the band for sure, and the new drummer Dan Wilding did fit in nicely.

Carcass’ history is legendary and controversial. Their album titles and lyrics are not recommended for weak stomachs or light minds. This new album Surgical Steel is no exception. Words and themes are brutal, and so is the music. Intro “1985” paves the way for the opening massacre of “Thrasher’s Abbatoir”, followed by the aggressively penned and aptly titled “Cadaver Pouch Conveyor System” – classic melodic death metal candidate. “A Congealed Clot of Blood” brings back the groovy side of the band, with a signature lick marked by the twin guitar melodies so prevalent in the seminal Heartwork album. Later on, “Unfit for Human Consumption” adds variety by combining the two facets of the band, peppered with some traditional metal style guitar melodies, and topped by some of the scariest shrieks ever to come out of Walker’s throat.

To say that the track from the album selected to be a single is also the standout might sound cliché, but in this case it is true. “Captive Bolt Pistol” was offered to fans beforehand on many official sites, and is exactly what one would expect from this band: mind-blowing bottom end, brutal overall performance, and inspired guitar works. To sum up: some real muscular death metal. 

To the fans I say: get this album, you won’t be disappointed. To this quintessential band I say: don’t ever break up again. Ever.