Brace yourselves, sports fans! Carcass get the ball rolling with Surgical Steel, an album that really has no right to be as good as it is, given that it's the product of a band that's not complete in its reunion. And yet, it's the ultimate Carcass album, straddling the divergent styles of the band's two landmark albums, Necroticism: Descanting The Insalubrious and Heartwork, while also boasting tighter musicianship and the best production values the band's ever had.
Not that the Protest The Hero album is a slouch. In fact, Volition may be my favorite PtH album next to Fortress. It's everything you want from the band: crazy high-speed precision and mindbending twists and turns. And as a bonus, it boasts some of the band's most mature songwriting (although that is certainly a relative claim). However, Volition just does not have enough lasting power and memorability, or enough balls, to best Surgical Steel. And so, Carcass survive... for now. How will they do against Revocation next week?
Tomorrow, The Black Dahlia Murder and Extol go mano-a-mano.