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)

CARCASS to Tour U.S. Again in March

CARCASS have announced that they will be returning to the United States this March for the Exhumed to Consume II tour. The follow up to last year’s highly successful reunion tour, Exhume to Consume, will feature SUICIDE SILENCE, SAMAEL, ARSIS and PSYCROPTIC plus a few special guests on select dates. Vocalist/bassist and all around optimistic person Jeff Walker commented:

“Well, I’m pleased to announce that CARCASS is gonna settle it’s unresolved scores in the U.S.! There was some slight whimpers of discontent that we didn’t hit some cities such as Chicago and Denver last time round – places that were always hot spots of enthusiasm for us. So we’re coming back in March to finish off our unsettled business! We seemed to have had a profound influence on your economy and gas prices have gotten cheaper haha! That’s doesn’t mean we’re not gonna come through and provide some value for your buck with some old (and new) school friends and comrades such as SUFFOCATION, SAMAEL, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, EXODUS, SUICIDE SILENCE, etc. – check out locally as for who is on the bill where! And hey, I couldn’t think of anywhere better to be on my 40th birthday than the Sunshine Theatre in Albuquerque, New Mexico! We promise this will be the last time we darken your shores (I said that with my fingers crossed behind my back)!”

03/13/09 The Trocadero – Philadelphia, PA
03/14/09 Peabody’s – Cleveland, OH (w/ ABIGAIL WILLIAMS)
03/15/09 The Pearl Room – Mokena, IL (w/ THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER)
03/16/09 Majestic Theater – Detroit, MI (w/ THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER)
03/17/09 Headliner’s – Louisville, KY
03/21/09 Ridglea Theater – Ft. Worth, TX (w/ SUFFOCATION)
03/22/09 Meridian – Houston, TX
03/24/09 Gothic Theatre – Denver, CO
03/25/09 Sunshine Theatre – Albuquerque, NM
03/26/09 The Grand Ballroom – San Francisco, CA (THE FACELESS, TOXIC HOLOCAUST)
03/27/09 The Marquee Theatre – Phoenix, AZ (w/ SUFFOCATION)
03/28/09 The Grove – Anaheim, CA (California Metal Fest w/ SUFFOCATION, EXODUS etc.)

CARCASS Schedule New York Show; More U.S. Shows Coming

Reactivated British extreme metal pioneers CARCASS have announced their first U.S. show since reuniting for a slew of festival performances around the globe. CARCASS will play the Nokia Theatre in New York City on Saturday, September 6 with support to come from NECROPHAGIST, ABORTED, and three soon-to-be-announced special guests.

Vocalist/bassist, Jeff Walker, also assured fans that additional U.S. shows will happen: “Well, we waited and waited (just to make you sweat), but it doesn’t look like Bush and Blair‘s phony war has any end in sight. The dollar ain’t gonna get any stronger, gas ain’t gonna get any cheaper, so it’s now or never! I guess you ex-colonists need cheering up and the only thing we can think of is some old-school grind and death metal (laughs)! Joking aside, we KNOW damn well we HAVE to play the U.S. if only to either shut you all up or completely disappoint you and shatter your illusions about this band! Either way, it’s gonna be a ‘blast,’ as you say out there. We’re looking to recreate the road trip of the summer of ’90 with DEATH, which was one of the best times of our lives (Christ, I sound old)! To quote Herchell Gordon Lewis as on Necroticism, ‘PREPARE TO DIE!’”

Check out fan-filmed footage from the band’s last performance on June 20th at the Tuska Festival in Helsinki, Finland: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5waji_carcass-heartwork-hellfest-2008_music

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.

ABORTED – Slaughter & Apparatus: A Methodical Overture

The Belgian death squad known as ABORTED is back with their fifth album, Slaughter & Apparatus. While many would have thrown in the towel after losing their entire lineup, vocalist Sven DeCaluwe has survived, in the process delivering ABORTED‘s most focused record to date. Expanding on the mid-tempo grooves and breakdowns of its predecessor, The Archaic Abattoir, Slaughter & Apparatus showcases the band’s ability to combine those elements with technical intensity and speed while still managing to create memorable hooks within a death metal framework. “Avenious,” “The Spaying Séance,” and “Archetype” offer prime examples of this, with each song shifting back and forth between blinding speed and straightforward, punchy riffing to thick, sludgy half-time grooves with fluid accuracy. Slaughter & Apparatus also offers up the band’s most musical leads to date on each of the album’s tracks but most prominently on “The Foul Nucleus of Resurrection” and “Underneath Rorulent Soil.” Lyrically, the band spews forth tales of incisions, cadavers, mutilations and lacerations with morbid glee, but at least the band doesn’t take themselves too seriously. How else can you explain “Prolific Murder Contrivance” in which the band is “canning up head-souffle” or the outro to “Spaying Seance” in which the band found a way for “urethral carnage – aberrant gynaecol” to sound catchy? Long cited for sounding a little to close to CARCASS for comfort, many moments on the album don’t help their case much in that regard, but the band has taken significant steps in separating themselves from the rest of the CARCASS clones. And hell, if Jeff Walker (who sings on two tracks) gives them his blessing, who cares? 2007′s finest death metal release thus far. (Century Media Records)

ABORTED Launch New Website

Belgium’s ABORTED have just launched their new website at www.goremageddon.be in anticipation of their new album, Slaughter & Apparatus: A Methodical Overture, which is set for a February 20th release. Included on the site is a track from the album, “The Chondrin Enigma.”

The album was recorded at Denmark’s Antfarm Studios with producer/engineer Tue Madsen (HIMSA, THE HAUNTED), and includes guest vocal performances by Jeff Walker (ex-CARCASS) and Jacob Bredahl (HATESPHERE).

Vocalist, Sven De Caluwe, describes the new effort: “Expect an album which more or less condenses what we’ve been doing over the last three albums, with some fresh elements added in. It’s definitely a lot more extreme, with more solo mayhem than The Archaic Abattoir, while still retaining the groove and melodies we have been building on. We promise that you will not be disappointed.”

New ABORTED Track Now Available; Band Shoots New Video

Belgium’s ABORTED have posted a new track, “The Chondrin Enigma,” on their MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/g0remagedd0n. The track is from their upcoming new album, Slaughter & Apparatus: A Methodical Overture. The disc was recorded at Denmark’s Antfarm Studios with producer/engineer Tue Madsen and includes guest vocal performances by Jeff Walker (ex-CARCASS) and Jacob Bredahl (HATESPHERE). Slaughter & Apparatus: A Methodical Overture is set for a Feb. 20th release.

Sven De Caluwe (vocals) adds, “We shot a video for ‘The Chondrin Enigma’ last week with OneOone (who also did our DVD), and from what we saw so far, this is going to be a killer video! Hope you guys enjoy the song, and more will follow in the coming weeks.”

MNEMIC: New Album Passenger Out on Feb. 6th; US Tour with SOILWORK

Self-professed “fusion future metal” band MNEMIC have named their upcoming third studio album Passenger, which is scheduled for release in Europe on February 2nd and in North America on February 6th.

In regards to the potent lyrical content, MNEMIC guitarist Mircea states:

“It’s thematically built around the meaning of existence, or in other words, the philosophy of Existentialism. There are several philosophical positions – one of them being the value and meaning of the world around the individual, and the other is that Existentialism is often associated with anxiety, dread, awareness of death, and freedom. We chose this subject and theme mainly because it’s so vast, and second, because we have always been big fans of Stanly Kubrick‘s 2001: A Space Odyssey movie. We wanted to do something like that, just with music and lyrics.”

Produced by MNEMIC, FEAR FACTORY‘s Christian Olde Wolbers, and Warren Riker (DOWN, CROWBAR, THE FUGEES) at Track Record Studios (KISS, MEGADETH, AEROSMITH) in Los Angeles and mixed by fellow countryman Tue Madsen (HALFORD, THE HAUNTED) at Antfarm Studios in Denmark, 2007′s Passenger will feature guest vocal appearances by Jeff Walker (CARCASS, BRUJERIA) and Shane Embury (NAPALM DEATH, BRUJERIA) and artwork by Asterik Studios (ANTHRAX, UNEARTH). Photos from Passenger‘s recording session can be viewed here.
The tracklisting for Passenger is as follows:
01. “Humanaut
02. “In The Nothingness Black
03. “Meaningless
04. “Psykorgasm
05. “Pigfuck
06. “In Control
07. “Electric I’d Hypocrisy
08. “Stuck Here
09. “What’s Left
10. “Shape Of The Formless
11. “The Eye On Your Back
Japanese Bonus Track: “Zero Synchronized

MNEMIC are currently preparing to shoot a video for “Meaningless” at Revolver Studios in Gothenberg, Sweden with Revolver film director Patric Ullaeus (DIMMU BORGIR, IN FLAMES).

The band’s new lead vocalist, Guillaume, will also make his live North American debut on the upcoming tour with labelmates SOILWORK and THREAT SIGNAL plus DARKEST HOUR. Tour dates for “The Last Stab” tour are as follows:

10/05 Jaxx – West Springfield, VA
10/06 The Chance – Poughkeepsie, NY
10/07 Webster Theatre – Hartford, CT
10/09 The Opera House – Toronto, ON – CANADA
10/10 L’Imperial – Quebec City, QC – CANADA
10/11 Fou Founes Electriques – Montreal, QC – CANADA
10/12 Northern Lights – Clifton park, NY
10/13 The Palladium – Worcester, MA
10/14 Peabody’s Down Under – Cleveland, OH
10/15 The Pearl Room – Mokena, IL
10/16 Sokol Underground – Omaha, NE
10/17 Gothic Theatre – Englewood, CO
10/19 The Pound – San Francisco, CA
10/20 House of Blues – Hollywood, CA
10/21 House of Blues – Anaheim, CA
10/22 The Clubhouse – Tempe, AZ
10/23 Launch Pad – Albuquerque, NM
10/24 White Rabbit – San Antonio, TX
10/25 Warehouse Live – Houston, TX
10/27 Culture Room – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
10/28 The State Theatre – St. Petersburg, FL
10/29 House of Blues – Lake Buena Vista, FL
11/01 The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
11/02 Planet Rock – Jacksonville, NC
11/03 The Norva – Norfolk, VA
11/04 Sonar – Baltimore, MD
11/05 B.B. Kings Blues Club – New York City, NY