Released: 2006, Listenable Records
Reviewer: Erin Fox
LEFT HAND PATHOLOGY is a bloody mashing of that which is medical and that which is metal. It might be messy in spots, but this is essentially a clean kill. For those who were fortunate enough to be around when this emergency room full of Carcass-lovers first picked up the forceps and scalpel for Relapse Records, you’re in for a clinically demented treat. While General Surgery has given fans the underground tastes of operative carnage over the years by way of EPs, this initial full-length is easily the most well-assembled package this band has delivered to date, effectively making everything that they’ve ever previously accomplished an advertisement for this fine operating table full of grinding death. For those who need a point of reference, “Symphonies Of Sickness” is the closest you’re going to come to a comparable record.
You’ll be hearing a lot of old-school Swedish Death sounds, as references of Dismember and Entombed are obvious, as always. Instrumentally, LEFT HAND PATHOLOGY is fantastic, particularly, in terms of riffs. As with any great old-school Swedish Death, tracks like “Cold Storage Fever” and “Capricious Provisional Cadaver Grater” rely on sinister-sounding, highly memorable guitar work to make an impression. Moreover, the insane blasting observed during tracks such as “Mucorpurulent Mayhem” places an exclamation point on the entire affair.
It will be interesting to see if General Surgery has the staying power to keep up the pace hereafter and issue proper records on a regular basis. Because this long-awaited record was not made 20 years ago, it’s hard to completely rave. It’s cool for a group to be able to take twenty year old ideas and execute them in the manner that listeners will hear on LEFT HAND PATHOLOGY, but it’s also a bit too nostalgic. A great many extreme metal fans do miss Carcass, so General Surgery certainly serves a purpose in a day and age when this classic sound is virtually non-existent within the scene. Chalk up the fact that the group keeps a consistent flow throughout the fourteen tracks and in the end and by album’s end, comes across as a veritable entity in its own right, all comparisons aside. This is a really good record that will be of insatiable appeal to a select few and of casual interest to a great many.