Carcass

Brisbane, AUS, 13 Jun 2014

By Peter Zischke

20 June 2014

Bloodlustmord! The four horsemen of gore and grind return to upon Brisbane (Australia) for the first time in five years. Jeff Walker, Bill Steer and co. are widely recognised as the gods of the grindcore and goregrind scenes and it was an amazing experience to have them visit our shores to wreak havoc on the faithful.

Surgical Steal the Commonwealth Tour – Carcass - The Hi-Fi, South Brisbane – 13 June 2014

Words by Peter Zischke and images by Simon Milburn

Carcass live in Brisbane, Australia

Carcass’ last tour in recent times was 2008 as a part of their reunion tour. The release of Surgical Steel in 2013 was the quartet’s first studio output for almost 20 years. If anyone was unsure about whether the band could still deliver in the studio, Surgical Steel laid waste to any doubt.  The album sits comfortably alongside their classics Necroticism (1991) and Heartwork (1993) as another testament to Carcass’ legacy as masters of their realm.  The 2014 Surgical Steal the Commonwealth tour encompassed four shows in as many days from one end of the country to the other in support of their latest studio output.

Having not seen Carcass live, I excitedly joined a reasonably small crowd of between three and four hundred at The Hi-Fi to witness the anticipated onslaught.

Carcass live in Brisbane, Australia Carcass live in Brisbane, Australia Carcass live in Brisbane, Australia

The night started with the recorded 1985 intro and immediately moved into “Buried Dreams” from Heartwork, which along with the recent Surgical Steel release, dominated the set list for the night.  “Buried Dreams” was followed in very quick succession by “Incarnated Solvent Abuse” from& Necroticism and a medley comprising “A Congealed Clot of Blood” and “Cadaver Pouch Conveyor System” from Surgical Steel.  It really seemed as though the band did not stop playing for the first 20 minutes of the show.

Multiple medleys ensued, with the 90 minute set managing to touch on every Carcass release from the goregrind beginnings of Reek of Putrefaction and Symphonies of Sickness through to Swansong and even Wake Up and Smell the Carcass. Every album was represented giving those in attendance a good cross-section of the band’s diverse catalogue.

Carcass live in Brisbane, Australia Carcass live in Brisbane, Australia

Musically, the guys were magic. Jeff’s voice is downright scary from his scream to his growl and Bill was completely on song.  There have been some line-up changes since their last visit, but new members Danny Wilding (drums) and Ben Ash (guitar) were also superb. The disturbing film cuts rolling in the background added atmosphere and the set was almost perfect from start to finish.

Jeff kept the crowd entertained during the mid-song pauses with convict jokes and other anecdotes, including a reveal of the backdrop stolen from their Brisbane show twenty-odd years ago!  The bandit apparently had a recent attack on conscience and decided to return the banner to its rightful owners.

Interestingly, Walker at various times tried to whip the crowd up and get some action on the floor. It must have appeared from the stage that not much was happening in the crowd.  It’s true that the crowd didn’t seem as brutal or energetic as some of the other shows I’ve seen recently, but it seemed to be a different type of energy in the place, more like reverence and appreciation.  Truth told, the band didn’t move around all that much, but that’s to be expected when trying to play their brand of music and doing it as well as they did.  Jeff quipped his excuse was that he’s 45 years old, but let’s face it - most of the crowd probably wasn’t too far behind!

Overall, this was a sensational night.  Just a killer show all round. If Surgical Steel showed that Carcass still has it in the studio, then surely this show (and no doubt the rest of the tour) would leave no one in any doubt that these guys can still kill it on stage.

Carcass live in Brisbane, Australia

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