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Masterpiece - 98%

scarsymmetry666, March 27th, 2016

This is one of the few albums I've had the pleasure of playing on repeat non-stop for days on end, headbanging all the way. Indeed, it was the fame surrounding Carcass's older album Heartwork as a legendary metal work that drew me to discover more from this band. When I heard first heard Surgical Steel I was shocked by the Maiden style higher end riffs in a melodeath song, I mean I know melodeath is supposed to be NWOBHM + death metal, but no other band has really done it like Carcass. Take all those catchy melodic riffs from Iron Maiden and throw out those shitty Bruce Dickinson vocals, (sorry, I don't listen to dad rock) and add in a badass unclean vocalist who KNOWS how to scream and throw in some death metal and bam you have Carcass. Carcass masters the musicianship of melodic death metal in this album unlike any other band I've listened to. The vocalist hammers away in perfect tandem with every little pitch change on the guitar, the drums slam away in perfect unison with the flow of the song, and catchy guitar riffs are spammed like CRAZY with interesting little pitch changes thrown all over the place that create just about the catchiest riffs you could think of.

In a way, Carcass capitlizes on the success of Heartwork well, and catchy riffs like those featured "Embodiment" from Heartwork are all over the place in Surgical Steel. The fact that they keep spamming the catchiest riff of the song is what makes this album so successful. Usually I get the chorus of a song stuck in my head, but Surgical Steel has whole sections of song stuck in your head daily on repeat. Bill Steer is absolutely my favorite guitarist since I listened to this album. Jeff Walker is no slouch either, although depending on taste many would not enjoy his death growls, as he hardly ever varies them, and I could see how someone could grow tired of them. His voice is definitely intense and powerful enough to add to the song rather than detract from it, and it sounds similar to a shrieking soul from hell or something.

While Heartwork was indeed incredible, it suffered from a slower pace that kept someone who loves fast music pretty bored at times. This album puts that all to rest, and every song is masterfully executed at breakneck pace. Production has also increased dramatically, and the added years have definitely helped Carcass rather than hurt them. Every rasp from Walker's voice is crisp and intense, and every drum pound and guitar riff is perfectly audible. To sum it all up, like fast, melodic, catchy, rhythmic, brutal metal (And you can handle Walker's vocals)? Pick up your copy of Surgical Steel today, seriously, its a work of art.