When bands attempt to recapture the magic of yore—usually after a lengthy hiatus, or perhaps straying from their roots—it can get ugly. And sad. British death-metalists Carcass went out with sort of a whimper on 1996’s Swansong, an album that gelled with the times rather than slice through the bullshit. Surgical Steel, the band’s first release in 18 years, doesn’t come across as a desperate attempt to reclaim former glory—this thing makes good on its title, slicing and dicing with the precision of a scalpel. Carcass continue with their obsession with the grotesque on songs like “Cadaver Pouch Conveyor System,” which mixes horrific imagery with blast beats, dual guitar leads and Jeff Walker’s bestial growl. And the breakdown riff in “The Master Butcher’s Apron” will hook itself deep into your tympanic membrane (since we’re getting technical). With Surgical Steel, Carcass have not only lanced the glaring blemish of Swansong, they’ve also re-established the idea that classic death metal doesn’t need any embellishment. All that matters is what’s on the inside, and Carcass gladly will show you in great detail.