Reactivated British extreme metal legends CARCASS have set "Surgical Steel" as the title of their first studio album in 17 years, to e released later this year via an as-yet-undetermined record label. The band's first studio outing since 1996's "Swansong" will be the first to feature new drummer Dan Wilding (ABORTED, TRIGGER THE BLOODSHED) and also features guest vocals from original sticksman Ken Owen. The CD was produced by Colin Richardson, who has previously worked with FEAR FACTORY, MACHINE HEAD, NAPALM DEATH, SLIPKNOT and BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE.
CARCASS guitarist Bill Steer tells U.K.'s Terrorizer magazine: "I found myself playing riffs that sounded like CARCASS. This was after the band had finished the whole reunion cycle of shows and festivals. So, officially, I would have been playing with other bands and stuff, but for some reason whenever I picked up a guitar at home I was coming up with riffs that sounded like CARCASS. I got on the phone to Jeff [Walker, bass/vocals] and said, 'We could have a crack at writing a couple of tunes and seeing if they're strong enough and take it from there.' We also agreed if it didn't sound like carcass or have that kind of vibe to it, we would just drop it. So that was the thing, we got together and started working on some stuff and just immediately got the excitement back very quickly."
Adds Bill: "It definitely sounds like CARCASS. I think we just generally by accident captured the flavor of past music that we have done and you can't help but push it forward. We have really been creative and when you are looking at things like guitar harmonies, it's way more adventurous on this record. It's not just parallel harmony like we did in the past, things branch off in different directions.
"A lot of what is happening now is based on rhythms rather than actual riffs. We were discussing this a lot during record sessions about how the riff is almost dying or dead already. People spend a lot of time chugging on the bottom string [but] that's a rhythm, it's not a riff. We can't write a song, never mind an album, without it being choc-full of riffs."
States Jeff Walker: "I'd like to feel like we are giving CARCASS fans what they want again. I'm a realist and I think Bill has realized and Dan know what people like about CARCASS. We're definitely delivering."
While the final track listing has yet to be confirmed, the following songs were recorded during the sessions:
* The Master Butcher's Apron
* The Granulating Dark Satanic Mills
* A Congealed Clot Of Blood
* A Wraith In The Apparatus
* 316l Grade Surgical Steel
* Cadaver Pouch Conveyor System
* Captive Bolt Pistol
* Intensive Battery Brooding
* None Compliance To Astm F899-12 Standard
* Mount Of Execution
* 1985/Thrasher's Abattoir
* Unfit For Human Consumption
* Livestock Marketplace
Guitarist Michael Amott and drummer Daniel Erlandsson, who have been touring with CARCASS since the band's reunion was announced in 2007, are no longer involved with the group due to scheduling conflicts with their main band, ARCH ENEMY. "For live, we'll obviously add another guitarist — we have someone in mind but we are not interested in a 'name' player," Walker told Decibel magazine in December.
Regarding the sound of the forthcoming CARCASS album, Walker stated: "We've taken stylistic cues from all the albums because it's in our blood, but it's no rehash or mess of ideas. I think it sounds almost like the missing link between the third and forth albums but with some groove in there. I've jokingly christened some parts 'trad blast' and some 'death sleaze'… don't think for a minute this is just some nostalgic throwback album — we're setting up another 17 years of ideas for other bands to copy and clean up on. [laughs]"
Asked if this means we'll be hearing some death metal vocals out of Bill for the first time since "Necroticism", Walker told Decibel, "Yes, already in the can. It's more along the lines of how I envisioned him backing me up on 'Heartwork'. That said, my own vocals have a hell of a lot more range than they did in the past solely down to the luxury of having time to record them — I did all the vox for 'Heartwork' in two days and it shows! Also, (hopefully) [drummer] Ken [Owen] [who is not involved in the band's current reunion because he suffered a near-fatal brain hemorrhage in February 1999 and has had some rather serious health problems since then. — Ed.] will make an appearance — we just need to tidy a few loose ends before the mix."
CARCASS is in the process of booking a number of live shows for 2013, including appearances at year's Maryland Deathfest, Germany's Party.San Open Air, Czech Republic's Brutal Assault, U.K.'s Damnation, The Netherlands' Neurotic Deathfest and Chile's Metal Fest.
CARCASS' last album, 1996's "Swansong", was re-released in July 2008 via Earache Records. The reissue came fully remastered on a DualDisc (combined CD and DVD) in a deluxe digipak with extra artwork and a free sticker sheet featuring exclusive CARCASS designs, and included part 5 of a mini-documentary series entitled "The Pathologist's Report" as bonus video material, plus an exclusive bonus track, "Deathrider Da".