Take two dashes of death metal, one brutal and one rotten. Take one dash each of ripping thrash and rancid doom and gnarly grind. Take a sprinkle of punk-ish spirit, and a twisted sense of humor, and an obsessive love of grindhouse horror, and mash them together in a piss-stained bucket. Marinate the mix in congealing blood, and then stuff it inside a freshly cut length of intestine. Let it sit for awhile in the sun, until it gets perfectly ripe and the juices begin to seep through the maggot-ridden flesh. Cut into chunks and serve on a rusty piece of sheet metal.
Now back from the grave after a 15-year hiatus, these gore-and-gurgle grinders have upped the ante on their bloody death metal riffs, moving a step further from the Impetigo part of their formula and paring back the film-sampling horror vibes of The Autophagous Orgy and Resickened in favor of even more Autopsy worship. The guitars of Maniac Neil and Dr. Hordak Scum (these are not their real names) slice and carve, alternating between a scalpel’s precision and a chainsaw’s more forceful eviscerations. Their guitar tones are perfectly fetid and oozing—all in, Scalpels For Blind Surgeons’ production fits snugly against its bloodspattered subject matter. Vocalist Gurge grunts, screams, and burps his way throughout; here as on those two previous efforts, his array of voices is quite impressive, and at times, his gurgling downright stomach-turning, in that sweet vintage Carcass pitch-shifted way.
And of course, if you’ve bothered to come this far, you probably know most all of that, so what comes of it in the end? Well, Scalpels For Blind Surgeons certainly has some catchy riffs, particularly in its latter midsection of “The Crawling” (therein aided by some unsettling sound effects) and “Million Maggot March” and “Reborn In The Blood Of My Enemies.” As such, Scalpels has the odd distinction of being back-loaded, with its best moments happening after its halfway point, and the first half of it blasting and/or creeping by in a blur of respectable, if not always eminently memorable, gory death metal. None of this is anything less than solid, but a large part of it does tend to stick together.
Of all the Razorback projects with whom I equate Lord Gore, right or wrong, Frightmare stood tallest, with their fun thrashy take on bloody death, though I enjoyed both Autophagous Orgy and its better brother Resickened for what they are. It’s been 15 years since those two, but not all that much has changed for Lord Gore. We’re all a little older, and they’re a little sharper, a little less reliant upon the sampler, a little deathier, and all that comes to this: Lord Gore is back, doing what they did but a little bit better. If you liked it then, you should like it now. And if you don’t know yet if you did or didn’t or do or don’t: If bloodsoaked burping B-movie and B-grade death gets your undead heart a-flutter, then here’s more flesh to feast upon.