Originally written by Jeremy Garner
I normally love to write long, detailed reviews about my views on an album, but sometimes it’s best just to shut the hell up and let the music speak for itself. I’m going to try to keep this as succinct and direct as possible. On some level I always feel obligated to point out at the very least particular tracks from an album that highlight exactly what I’m talking about, but if I did that with Left Hand Pathology I’d feel a good bit like a horse’s ass. It’s not that the songs are formulaic, but the powerful handling of both groove oriented grindcore and lascivious gore fanaticism combines beautifully in perhaps one of the best records of the grindcore persuasion this year.
It’s good to see the boys of General Surgery have finally decided to grace us with a proper full length, in fact, I’ll go as far as to say it’s about goddamned time. To those of you not familiar with these deranged maniacs, their sound isn’t all that hard of a concept to grasp. The vocals range from visceral gutturals to retching snarls that sound like organs should have ended up in the studio floor. The drums change pace from straightaway blasts and pure death metal madness to catchy and groove laden punk/grindcore influenced beats. The interesting part about the guitars is while the focus of the material is on flesh ripping aggression and infectious groove, the material never once gets monotonous or begins to bleed together in any respect. The very fact that General Surgery can remain fresh and interesting in what is otherwise a phenomenally clichéd genre is a wonderful testament to their ability as musicians. It’s a damn shame that founding member Grant McWilliams has decided to step down from the band, but these things happen, and if over a decade long hiatus didn’t stop this band, I doubt the loss of Grant will, however regrettable it may be.
This is by far the best gore/grind release of the year and particularly smashing compared to the somewhat lackluster releases stalwarts like Terrorizer and Dismember released this year. This album will primarily be of interest to those of you who listen to the likes of Carcass, Impaled, and Exhumed, but to their credit, General Surgery are wihtout a doubt a band that are so damn good at what they do that even the occasional onlooker might find themselves oddly fascinated, considering how smashing of a job they combining some great classic Swedish death metal with skin flaying gore/grind. In fact if you’ve ever found yourself thinking Symphonies of Sickness was a badass album and you don’t attempt to own this record, I swear to Satan I’ll hunt you down and beat you to death with a pool cue.