Surgical Wars: Attack of the Carcass Clone
Let me quote following declarations of band’s members: Mr. Kärki, taken from Swedish Death Metal book - “I called this band into being just because of pure love for Carcass. Our only purpose was to copy them from beginning to the end. Our band’s name comes from the book Carcass took some pictures to their first album. We were tribute band. The Carcass-like performance was the only thing we cared about.” And Mr. Carlsson, taken from Polish Mega Sin 4/2004 – “Original music isn’t for us. I remember such thing: we changed some new riffs to be in more Carcass way. That was our only goal – to be like them. For me it was just a good fun, not to be complex like in our parent bands. Just to collect Carcass riffs and make it General Surgery way headbanging all day long. Nobody wanted to be an original. By the way, I love to play in General Surgery to date doing things we want to, not striving to be an unique one. Just pure jollyhead.” Is there anything to add in this matter? I guess not. Anyway, on the start this band was considered as a project crew of the members that came from Dismember, Afflicted, Crematory. Yep, good company indeed. And after three demo tapes, General Surgery signed with Relapse Records bringing “Necrology” to this weak ill world. As compared to the first 7” ep version from 1991, this tape issue (1994) has two bonus tracks which were planned to be put on the split with Soilent Green, finally unreleased.
And as the first track “Ominous Lamentation” fills the air, there’s no surprise because this is just a pure obeisance to “Genital Grinder” track from… Carcass repertoire of course! Then the music follows the well-known style, however, after all these years with “Necrology”, I wouldn’t dare to put an equality sign between it and Carcass early works. I mean, the Swedes seem to be more catchy, with more memorable riffs structures. But by all means the music didn’t get softer, it still murderous, mucid piece of pathological gore grind, sounding so good despite of being for twenty years on the scene. Mind you, this stuff has been recorded at Sunlight Studios, in November 1990, and duo Skogsberg / Carlsson did a splendid job. Musically only almost sixteen minutes on the table, but I‘ve been simply worshiping it since the first meeting. Extremely fast tempo combined with overwhelming slowdowns, few successful methods of how to disgorge vocal cords, all bathed in clinical ominous aura. And this beautiful guitar lead in “Crimson Concerto” which explores killing dimension of Swedish death metal… What is more, the patient, oops, the tape, is still in good condition in spite of haunting my operating table heaps of times!
To sum the story up, “Necrology” is yet another piece of metal proving that originality isn’t the most important. It just brings me everything I need in this kind of metal genre, well, in metal generally. In those long-ago days this piece had only positive reviews, even Carcass approved General Surgery as their deserving imitator. But for various reasons Swedish surgeon decided to take some rest, probably to go for mysterious and clandestine intern. Being out of a job for many years, he returned with another Carcass eulogists called surprisingly… The County Medical Examiners. The great (mal)practice started again…
(written in March, 2016)