General Surgery
Necrology EP (reissue)

For you whippersnappers out there, the current  incarnation of General Surgery―the one that reformed in 2003 and has released  two full-length albums since―is a far cry from what the band was in 1991 when they unleashed their seven song debut EP Necrology.

One of the early super groups, culling members of the then burgeoning Stockholm Death metal scene, General Surgery originally comprised of notables like Matti Karki (Dismember) on vocals, Mats Nordrup and (lone remaining member) Joacim Carlsson (Afflicted) on drums and guitar respectively, and at one time also featured Dismember‘s Richard Cabeza as well. And considering that Dismember had just released Like and Ever Flowing Stream and Afflicted were on the verge of releasing their landmark debut, I don’t need to tell you that this collaboration was pretty well a dream band for fans of Swedish death metal back in 1991. Even more so when the band, instead of rehashing their full time outlets, went for a more grindcore, gore metal form of early Carcass worship (complete with lengthy medical song titles) that was rendered with a Stockholm buzz.

So after years of being long out of print, and in the midst of a Swedish Death metal revival, Relapse has dusted this gem off , given it a new cover, a new Scott Hull remastering effort,  three bonus demo tracks and reissued it in a shiny new digipack. Now, as someone who owns the original pressing, I can’t say this is going to replace my original. First, as opposed to Relapse’s recent reissue of Death‘s Human, there’s nothing in the way of linear notes or extras other than the three expectedly rough demo tracks from 1990s Pestisferous Anthropophagia, which are tracks already on the actual EP. Scott Hull’s mastering is far less noticeable than Jim Morris’ thunderous remaster of Human also. The vocals seems a bit more clear and up front, but when played side by side with the original, the difference is minimal, but I guess that’s a testament to the then vogue Sunlight Studio/Tomas Skogsberg sound ― if it ‘aint broke don’t fix it.

Those only familiar with the band’s recent (ish) two full-lengths, you might be in for a surprise as Necrology is much more Symphonies of Sickness than Necrotism. This isn’t polished, clean and catchy Carcass worship a la Impaled, The County Medical Examiners or Hemorrhage, but sickly, raw, sloppy and viscous grinding death/gore metal with few ties to the member’s original projects. None of the songs are over 3½ minutes long, with most blasting clocking in under 3 or even 2  minutes (“Slithering Maceration of Ulcerous Facial Tissue”, “Grotesque Laceration of Mortified Flesh”, “An Orgy of Flying Limbs and Gore”). The vocals are a layered mix of uber deep gurgles, screams and burps, which for fans of Dismember and Afflicted, was quite jarring. But contained within these seven songs are some pretty classic moments that deliver Carcass worshiping filth with a mid-range buzz to die for: the likes of “Ominous Lamentations” (one of the most classic instrumental intros ever), “Severe Catatonia in Pathology”, and “Crimson Concerto” in particular still hold up very very all these years later. For those wanting to hear what the original General Surgery sounded like on their classic debut, now is your chance to revisit and own a piece of extreme history.

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
July 1st, 2011

Comments

  1. Commented by: Dan Zidar

    One of the finest EPs ever. Completely mandatory listening.


  2. Commented by: gordeth

    “Crimson Concerto” is such a great song. I never bothered to buy this EP back in the day because I had a bunch of the tracks on various comps. But, I’ll probably pick up this reissue to finally get the complete package.


  3. Commented by: Paul

    This brings back great memories :)

    I have the original floating around somewhere, but will probably pick this up since I can’t find my old one. Way back when I first heard this, I had NEVER heard vox like this. We called them “toilet-stripping vocals” :)


  4. Commented by: denial

    same cover as it was on the original.duh.


  5. Commented by: E. Thomas

    Original cover is blue print, this re-issue is orange print, duh


  6. Commented by: shaolinlambkiller

    Totally agree with it being mandatory listening. I have the original and now I’m glad to know I don’t have to bother with this reissue.


  7. Commented by: ikillednoe

    this was my push into Swedish metal, still have the poster somewhere…


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