The cover artwork for "Surgical Steel", the comeback album from reactivated British extreme metal pioneers CARCASS, can be seen below.
"We went back to working with Ian Tilton, who is an iconic English photographer famous for working with THE STONE ROSES," stated CARCASS bassist/vocalist Jeff Walker. "He actually did the front cover for [1991's] 'Necroticism - Descanting the Insalubrious' as well. We've deliberately tried to evoke the feeling of that album and [1993's] 'Heartwork'."
"Surgical Steel" will be released on September 16 in the U.K., September 13 in the rest of Europe and September 17 in North America via Nuclear Blast Records. The effort was produced by Colin Richardson (FEAR FACTORY, MACHINE HEAD, NAPALM DEATH, SLIPKNOT, BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE) and mixed by Andy Sneap (MEGADETH, ACCEPT, EXODUS, ARCH ENEMY).
Joining guitarist Bill Steer and bassist/vocalist Jeff Walker in CARCASS' current incarnation are new drummer Dan Wilding (ABORTED, TRIGGER THE BLOODSHED) and guitarist Ben Ash (PIG IRON, DESOLATION, LIQUEFIED SKELETON).
CARCASS' first studio LP since 1996's "Swansong" will feature guest vocals from original sticksman Ken Owen.
In a recent interview with Chile's Radio Futuro, Walker stated about the new CARCASS CD: "We think we've made a good album, so it's gonna be very interesting when people get to hear the record. We can't wait to see what people think."
He continued: "It sounds like CARCASS. Even the drumming sounds like CARCASS. Everything about it… I think it's gonna shock people, how good it is. I think it's got all the elements that people like, yet it still sounds fresh. So that's all I can say, really, 'cause we don't really sound like any other band, and the fact that after 17 years, we wrote music and it still sounds like CARCASS, I think it's good."
In a separate interview with Terrorizer magazine, Steer spoke about how the decision to record a new CARCASS studio album came about.
"I found myself playing riffs that sounded like CARCASS," he said. "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 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."
He added: "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 chock-full of riffs."
Stated 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
Regarding the sound of the forthcoming CARCASS album, Walker previously 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 vocals for 'Heartwork' in two days and it shows!"
Guitarist Michael Amott and drummer Daniel Erlandsson, who had 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.
CARCASS will support AMON AMARTH on their upcoming European tour.