After 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)