GENERAL SURGERY - LAY DOWN AND BE COUNTED EP
DEMENTED BASEMENT SURGERY FROM THE SWEDISH GORE VETERANS
General Surgery releases are infernally unpredictable, almost randomly-occurring events. Their cannon of gore-grind death metal spans over 30 years and comprises an inconsistently released hotch-potch of EPs, splits, demos and only two long-players. The only real certainty about General Surgery’s haphazard recorded output is their unalloyed and unevolved glorification of first generation splatter-core death metal. Taking their cues unambiguously from early Carcass and even reference-dropping early death metal titles into their own, everyone should just understand and set their expectations to the fact that General Surgery’s gore-metal fetishism will not ever change or err.
In case there was any doubt, this starts with a recording of a mortician talking effusively about how she enjoys her work. You can see where this is going. Effusive Opulent Decampment / Lay Down and be Counted is a crazed hellish din of rampaging early epoch inspired death metal. Bizarre and daft morbidly titled panegyrics to sick medical torture is the aesthetic to which General Surgery remain loyal. You get some short sharp punk-informed gore-grind like (In The Realm Of) The Thorax Embalmer which is just feral while the suitably titled At Cut Throat Speed is a highly velocity, blast beat-strewn mess with a nightmarish breakdown and the 54 second Necrogore sounds like warp speed soundtrack to vomiting up innards. Elsewhere the quaint Liquefactive Decay of Remnant Lung Tissue and Psychotic Cerebral Procedure demonstrate the band’s ability in technical, multi-tempo, precise rushes to the head.
With the basement torture movie atmosphere of the US deep south death metal tradition but with a more precise, technical delivery of Carcass and Scandinavian death metal, General Surgery achieve a sound that is shadowy and sepulchral but not blurry enough to lose their surgical technicality. Indeed, there are some incendiary, engaging riff-work with decent hooks and kept at a highly disciplined pace. The vocals, meanwhile, spew haemorrhaging low-register jabbering, howling and rasping dementedly over these seven tracks of rabid, surgery-obsessed death grind. Seemingly, the Swedes’ sole raison d’etre is to re-appear periodically with extreme metal that is defiantly generic and uncaringly deferential to tradition and excel in it.