November 24, 2014 Carcass tear up final night of tour Mojoes Joliet, IL 11-15-14 w/ Macabre, Exhumed, & Noisem
The patience of enduring seventeen silent years surely garners more effect than standing in fifteen degree weather on a Saturday, November 15th. A snake of black hoodies shivered against the brick wall of small-town venue Mojoes, in Joliet, IL awaiting the hour of Carcass. Amidst the hiatus and rumors of permanent breakup, Carcass returned in 2007 with the vigor of 1985’s prime. Releasing Surgical Steel with Nuclear Blast in 2013, fans rekindled a few warm embers into the rampant inferno surrounding all that is Carcass. Dropping the Surgical Remission/Surplus Steel EP only a few weeks ago, the band attempts to quench a decade-long thirst with B-sides and previously un-released tracks. Carcass’ revered Mojoes performance ended their Inked In Steel Tour with re-established admiration.
Soaking the already-crimson walls in a haze of amber light, the night began with the pseudo-blood of a triumphant hero’s awaited return. Opening the wound of time, Noisem took the stage first. Tearing up the stage, a fury of long hair, surplus energy, and torrential riffage began the slaughter. The Maryland based five-piece were no strangers to starting a show. In fact, Noisem may have set the bar for all opening bands; stealing every eye and ear to the sound of dredged underground thrash metal. Baltimore needs to quit hiding prodigious Metal bands.
After Noisem’s too-short set, Exhumed commanded the audience as only Horror-grind can. Like many of the bands on the bill, the California natives have over a decade of experience behind them. Exhumed’s ease in performing such intense Death Metal surely made all the little Tommys’ and Sallys’ of the crowd go home and air-guitar the entire Necrocacy (2013). Exhumed capped their set with an apron-laden “butcher” running on stage with a small, blood-spattered microwave, to which he opened to reveal a severed head. After squirting the crowd with a questionable liquid, the butcher swung the fake head near the barricade, dived into the crowd, and surfed all the way to the back of the venue; a very impressive event.
As the impatience intensified, Chicago’s own Macabre graced the stage with a bit of hometown horror. The original-member trio is quite the definition of Horror Metal. Mastering the art of serial killer academics, Macabre began each song with the story of whom the song was inspired by. One fan continuously shouted “Disease” in a maniacal cackle. Lead vocalist Corporate Death opts for a headset mic versus the traditional mic, which gave him more freedom to move and comfortably tell his gruesome tales. Drummer Dennis The Menace sat behind a superbly large, gleaming white kit, briefly exposing Chicago Blackhawks’ pajama pants and exactly where his hockey loyalty lies. The band performed songs such as “The Iceman” and “The Bloody Benders” with regal repugnance and satisfactory disgust.
The Joliet stop of the tour did not include Obituary, who performed on several other dates, therefore, the hour had arrived. Mere seconds separated fans from a band they had so surely stuck with since being established. A white banner encircled with surgical tools, knives, blades and every sharp-edged object imaginable, hung behind the stage. Striding out from the darkness appeared founding member and guitarist Bill Steer, followed by bassist/vocalist Jeff Walker. Newest member additions include guitarist Ben Ash, who was recruited in 2013, and drummer Daniel Wilding since 2012. At long last, Carcass stood before a rabid audience, exactly where they have always belonged. Splintering the cries of the crowd, Carcass bellowed into the force-to-be-reckoned “Buried Dreams” from 1993’s Heartwork. Steer led the call of the wild with lumbering guitar; agile, dense, and thickening the air with a sludge of signature Carcass tone. The grating rasp of Walker’s growl escaped in carnal extent, quaking the audience in gratitude. “Incarnated Solvent Abuse” erupted upon the heels of a legend, spewing enough fog to nearly erase the crowd. The current Carcass lineup terrorized in timing and precision, wielding “Incarnated Solvent Abuse” a double-edge sword. Ash and Steer notably weaved a steel-wool tapestry of melody and solo. Ever tighter they wound, building a pyre for Walker’s seething screeches to ignite.
Carcass were slow to move about the stage and let the fuel of sound infiltrate the physical energy of the crowd. A brief glimpse of age revealed itself in the sweat of Walker and Steer’s brow, flowing down deep rivets along their eyes, mouths and necks. Yet, onward they pushed, stopping only a few times to speak to the crowd with mild sarcasm and humor. “Corporal Jigsore Quandary” and “Cadaver Pouch Conveyor System” divulged the youth in Walker’s voice, drilling his higher register into impeccable pitch. One of the night’s best songs went to 1996’s Swansong standout, “Black Star.” The live performance of this song is comparable to none other. If more accolades could be given to Walker’s higher register, they would go here. Steer’s solo did not stray far from the original recording, and stood out more due to the visual aspects of speed and accuracy. Ash and Wilding kept up greatly, respecting the original sound of “Black Star” while also throwing in a few bits of personal style.
Although weary faces betrayed them, Walker and Steer eluded time once more. Performing with fierce vitality, Carcass held their heads high amidst the tick of an inevitable clock. Yet, talent does not rely on a number and skill cannot be forgotten. Nevertheless, the morsel of Surgical Steel, an EP, and a supporting tour, will suffice Carcass fans for years to come. Another seventeen years? Let the wait begin.