GENERAL SURGERY — Left Hand Pathology (review)

GENERAL SURGERY — Left Hand Pathology album cover Album · 2006 · Goregrind Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
"Left Hand Pathology" is the debut full-length studio album by Swedish death metal/goregrind act General Surgery. The album was released through Listenable Records in October 2006. General Surgery were originally active in the 1988-1991 period and released three demos and the "Necrology (1991)" EP before disbanding. The members have since been part of other prolific Swedish death metal and grindcore acts such as Dismember, Afflicted, Crematory and Regurgitate. General Surgery reformed again in the early 00s (although it´s only guitarist Joachim "Jocke" Carlsson and lead vocalist Grant McWilliams who remain from the lineup who recorded the "Necrology (1991)" EP) and have been putting out a string of releases since 2003.

So while "Left Hand Pathology" may be a debut album, it´s an album featuring seasoned musicians, who know how to handle their instruments. Stylistically General Surgery pretty much continue where they left off with "Necrology (1991)". Early Carcass influenced goregrind/death metal complete with gory pathology oriented lyrics and bizarre song titles like "Mucopurulent Mayhem", "Convivial Corpse Disposal Methodology", and "Capricious Provisional Cadaver Grater". The music style is also very similar to early Carcass, even down to the "juicy" growling vocal style, although the occasional old school Swedish death metal part is also heard. The latter is a minor element of the band´s sound though, and overall it wouldn´t be wrong to label the music style on "Left Hand Pathology" goregrind Carcass worship.

General Surgery was one of the first Carcass worship acts but upon returning to the scene in the early 00s, several other artists had picked up the torch, and today they are just one of many. So the novelty of being one of the first acts to pay tribute to the legendary British act has worn off. At this point it´s purely about the quality of the music and in that department the material on the 14 track, 33:53 minutes long album is decent. The playing is tight, the songwriting effective, and the sound production is raw, powerful, and detailed, so overall the product is of a relatively high quality. The "relative" word is used here because the songwriting is too one-dimensional in the end, and the tracks are hard to tell apart even after many listens, and there is no arguing the material could have prospered from more variation. Had more of the tracks featured a degree of variation like the closing track "Convivial Corpse Disposal Methodology", which is an absolutely brilliant track, my overall impression of the album had probably been different, but as it is it´s simply not varied enough.

When that is said "Left Hand Pathology" is still an entertaining release while it plays and if you can´t get enough of early Carcass worship albums this is definitely one of the places to go. Just take it for what is is. A 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is warranted.
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Vim Fuego wrote:
10 months ago
Not quite as much fun as Necrology, but I still love this.


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