Album Title: 
Surgical Steel
Release Date: 
Friday, September 13, 2013
Review Type: 

I was thinking and philosophising about a decent, honest introduction to this album. How would I introduce this legendary KULT act? How could I introduce this new epos? Would it be fair to refer to the glorious past? Should it be opportune to focus on this band’s unique, and more-than-interesting history? And how would I express my gratitude? Carcass just are ultimate protagonists of Extreme Music, and without this band, the current scene certainly would not be what it has become nowadays…

But it would be way too stupid, for everyone knows that this band is patriarchal when it comes to sonic glory and sickness. Just like that… Together with, let’s say, Napalm Death (and of course a couple of others), Carcass are legendary. So I decided, once more, to remain modest, unobtrusive, unpretentious, and not to go into superlatives or (superficial and superfluous) memories, and focus directly on the new album itself. But not before repeating once more: Carcass, as you know, are KULT!

So, Surgical Steel… The album has been created by the quartet Jeff Walker - Bill Steer - Ben Ash - Daniel Wilding, and the finishing touch has been taken care of this time by Andy Sneap for the first time. This brings me to the first difference with the past: another sound, slightly more organic and undetermined. But the production stands like a raised fist in Virgin Mary’s [self-censorship]. Seriously, the sound of this album is very clean, but for sure not clinically over-polished.

When it comes to the songs, well, it all starts with a short intro, which reminds me a lot to Iron Maiden. Just listen to the riffing on the track 1985 (melancholy, dear friends?) and you’ll understand. But as from Thrasher’s Abattoir on, it gets clear that Carcass still breathe Extreme Metal in their veins, their brain, their existence. There is melody, extremity, and technicity, all melted into energetic Death Metal songs, combining the essence of the Old School with the power of the modern future. And indeed, every single track is an experience. Lots of changes in tempo, structure and melody, filled with hooks and breaks, coloured by virtuoso guitar playing, supported by excellent yet ultra-heavy rhythms, and spiced by … Sorry, I have to admit that I cannot express myself totally the way I want to. I can gesticulate, I can combine Dutch, French and English (and if you want to, some other languages as well), but I’ll never (and no one will!!!) be able to stipulate exactly the reverent admiration for this album.

And it’s not just the fabulous song writing skills and great instrumental and vocal execution that strike me. An example: The Master Butcher’s Apron, starting with grinding malignancy, then evolving into Doom-laden Death melodics, before injecting the whole with elements from NWOBHM (Iron Maiden again; pay attention to that fabulous twin guitar riffing, like in The Granulating Dark Satanic Mills), Gothenburg-stuff (At The Gates), frantics à la Anaal Nathrakh, and so on. All in one, yet defined into uniqueness courtesy of Carcass only. And that’s just one single example. Every single piece on Surgical Steel is a masterpiece with new details that seem to pop up every time you listen to the album again. So let’s conclude: Carcass! Surgical Steel! Must-have!

Me happy, me like, once again…