Released: 2012, Relapse Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Next to Exhumed, there’s no other band active today that does traditional Carcass styled gore-grind better than General Surgery. What started out as a one-off side project in the early 90’s has slooowly developed into a legitimate entity of its own across the span of 20 years. LIKE AN EVER FLYING LIMB is the latest EP from these Swedes and the first collection of new material since 2009’s CORPUS IN EXTREMIS. Clocking in at a fleeting 11 minutes, these five tracks are arguably the finest that these merchants of gore have ever composed.
From their debut 1991 NECROLOGY EP through 2009’s aforementioned CORPUS IN EXTREMIS, it seemed that General Surgery was content to bear the stigma of “Carcass clone”, a tag which may not have been undeserving. But LIKE AN EVER FLYING LIMB sees the band branching out beyond pure Carcass worship and embracing the art of gore within the context of traditional Swedish death metal. And it’s awesome. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like they started writing Pink Floyd songs, but the 5 tracks across the EP sound immediately more natural and intrinsically more brutal than much of their prior body of work. And there are still plenty of Carcass-isms to be found across the EP, but the stew now includes ingredients of Dismember, Entombed, Autopsy, and maybe even a dose of themselves for once.
Read the song titles and you’ll get the general gist of things – death, death, and more death, crafted in short hit-and-run bursts, like an Econoline van plowing into a succession of pedestrians attempting to cross the street. Conceptually, General Surgery may still be living two decades in the past, but the execution on LIKE AN EVERY FLYING LIMB is the most current and relevant that the band has ever sounded. If you know your death metal history, you’ll recognize the title as a play on Dismember’s LIKE AN EVER FLOWING STREAM, which should further emphasize where the band’s creative head is at.
Sure, there are other ways that you could burn 11 minutes in your day, but with grind this good, why would you want to? LIKE AN EVER FLYING LIMB is available now through Relapse Records.