CARCASS – Surgical Steel

carcass.surgicalsteelAfter what seems like a lifetime of waiting, the CARCASS comeback album is finally here.  The long and short of it is that Surgical Steel is great; an instant classic.  It is just as exciting as you are hoping it could be.

Usually, bands make a comeback and they are able to be as good as they once were.  Well, CARCASS have done more than that as they are better than ever.  The craftsmanship and artistry is on another level.  Jeff Walker sounds absolutely amazing.  His vocals are so powerful and his lyric writing is as sharp as ever.  Bill Steer has somehow improved as a guitar god.  Sick, I know.

And what of the newcomer, drummer Dan Wilding (guitarist Ben Ash does not play on the album)?  He is a perfect fit.  And it is true what Jeff Walker says about Dan‘s drumming on Surgical Steel.  It definitely sounds like CARCASS.

The band make it no secret that they are not out to reinvent themselves with Surgical Steel.  Rather, it is largely a revisitation and continuation of their greatest release, Heartwork.  Swan Song and Necroticism play a smaller, secondary role in terms of sound and style, mostly the former. But the band have learned new tricks while they were away and you will hear new riffing, melodies, and song structures.  So expect insanely played dual guitars, balls out solos, grinding, blasting, melodies, tons of hooks, and lots of energy.

Diehard CARCASS fans will easily be able to spot familiar riffing, drum patterns, vocal lines, and melodies throughout.  Is that a drawback?  Not when they are this well done.

There’s a difference between merely a comeback and CARCASS‘ comeback.  Surgical Steel is the sound of a hungry and reinvigorated legend.  The band have answered the call to the utmost and we are all better off for that.  (Nuclear Blast Records)

ARCH ENEMY: No Rest for the Enemy

The demise of CARCASS in the mid-nineties spawned a metal beast known then by only the most dedicated underground metal fans in ARCH ENEMY. Fast forward to 2008, ARCH ENEMY are one of the most popular and well-recognized bands of metal today. Powered by the band’s unwavering work ethic, not to mention the guitar wizardy of brothers Michael and Chris Amott, and the prowess of singer Angela Gossow, ARCH ENEMY have birthed their latest (and perhaps finest hour), Rise of the Tyrant. APESHIT caught up with Michael Amott on the last night of their Fall U.S. tour with MACHINE HEAD to examine the band’s rise to the top and dissect the secret to their success.

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CARCASS to Reunite for Wacken 2008

Legendary British death metal band, CARCASS, will reunite for next year’s Wacken Open Air festival. Bassist/vocalist, Jeff Walker, issued the following statement on behalf of the band:

“Well, they said it would never happen. In fact I said it would never happen. Then I noticed no one pays attention to what I say anyway and I sounded like an idiot…

“Summer 2008 will be the twentieth anniversary since the release of CARCASS‘ first studio album. It will be fourteen years since we last played live. We’ve decided to exhume the old corpse next Summer at Wacken. The timing is purely coincidental – it’s been a long journey to get to this point where myself, Bill Steer and Mike Amott (ARCH ENEMY) have enough common desire again to make it possible. We’re finally conceding to the demand that seems to be at an all time high and doesn’t appear to be going away any time soon. Any past reasons we may have had for not wanting to do it, or thinking it was impossible, have simply dissipated in the face of overwhelming interest in us performing THOSE riffs for a generation of believers who never had the opportunity back in the day. We could say we’re doing it for ‘the kids’ – but fuck that! We’re doing it ‘cos it will be fun again to play the classic CARCASS tunes!! Of course it would seem inappropriate for us to contemplate to do this without Ken Owen, but I assure you he’ll be there, and we’ll push some sticks in his hands and make him play, plus we’ll have a killer drummer to sit in and play HIS parts.

“Myself, Jeff Walker, on bass and vocals, ‘the semi-legendary’ Bill Steer and Mike Amott on lead guitar and Daniel Erlandsson (ARCH ENEMY), filling in for Ken on drums, look forwards to mutilating your hearing.

“And if we don’t do it? Who else will overshadow the LED ZEPPELIN reunion?

“Ha!

“Prepare to rot and roll.”

Next year’s Wacken Open Air (official website) is set to take place July 31 through August 2, 2008.