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Artist: Carcass
Where: Pearl Room, Mokena, IL
Date: 3/15/09
Order of Appearance: Dirge, Psycroptic, Samael, Suicide Silence, The Black Dahlia Murder, Carcass
Written By: Raising Iron

The temporarily reunited Carcass has recently finished their second trek across the US, aka Exhumed to Consume II, and what a hell of show they presented!

Pulling heavily from Heartwork and Necroticism, they spent an hour and a half cutting through their melodic death/grind catalog with exacting, surgical precision. With a film screen backdrop above drummer Daniel Erlandsson's head (original/founding drummer Ken Owens is still not able to tour due to a brain hemorrhage he suffered almost 10 years ago, resulting in a 9 month coma, yet he is playing drums again!) depicting autopsies, dissections, and disease of a most graphic nature, the guys touched upon every album. Swansong's one representation was of course the semi-hit, "Keep on Rotting in the Free World", and even Reek of Putrefaction saw one song portrayed, although given that particular albums relative indecipherability I'm not sure which song it was! Other highlights included "Exhume to Consume", Symposium of Sickness", and the requisite "No Love Lost".

Enjoying the camaraderie of some good friends, we deliberated what the opening song would be, coming to the conclusion it had to be "Heartwork", and whadya know, we were right! Main singer and bassist Jeff Walker kicked around a bit of enjoyable crowd banter between some of the songs, and yes Jeff, your bass volume was very present! Speaking of which, props have to be given to whoever was running sound for them that night at the Pearl Room in Mokena, IL; for me and my buddies agreed it was one of the best live mixes we've ever heard! Everything was clear and present with nobody buried in the mix, and when Michael Amott and Bill Steer tore into their shredding solos, they burned high and above the rest of the mix. Being one of metals most respected and influential bands, they performed flawlessly and above expectations to a crowd of close to a thousand.

Other bands on the bill included The Black Dahlia Murder, who was kinda just "there", not inspiring, but not terribly disappointing either. The long running Samael from Switzerland were also along, playing an all too short half hour set, introducing a new song called "Black Hole" from their forthcoming album Above, as well as fan favorite "Into The Pentagram"! Another technically proficient band aboard the tour was Australia's Psycroptic, who gave a good show musically but seemed to lack energy. Suicide Silence found themselves slotted squarely in the middle of the bill, with an annoyingly long set of today's typical "brutal" bratcore, incessantly urging the crowd to "Wake Up" (a phrase infinitely barked from one of their songs). Rounding things out were a local act called Dirge, who despite displaying typical deathcore leanings, have in their possession a very, very fine guitarist. Finally, Virginia's Arsis was another act intended to be on the bill but dropped off just before the tour started due to band strife. This resulted in things getting started a little bit later but time to switch over from band to band was prompt and incident free.

If you've never had the chance to see Carcass and they are coming near you during this reunion, do not hesitate, you will not be disappointed!

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