Saturday, May 5, 2012

General Surgery - A Collection Of Depravation

General Surgery
A Collection Of Depravation
Relapse Records

Stockholm (Sweden) based death metal/goregrind outfit General Surgery have spent more years in hibernation than they have as an ongoing band, originally forming way back in 1988, although inactive from 1991 through to 2002. But despite the band’s on again/off again status, they’ve managed to release a vast body of recorded material in their time, most of which has been released through compilation appearances, split E.P. releases and demos.
Originally signed to Relapse Records for their debut E.P. effort ‘Necrology’ (1991), the band then went on to release two full-length efforts through Listenable Records (2006’s ‘Left Hand Pathology’ and 2009’s ‘Corpus In Extremis: Analysing Necrocriticism’). Now returning to Relapse Records, the label and the band have made the joint decision to put together a compilation in celebration of band’s return - which duly brings us to ‘A Collection Of Depravation’.
Comprised of thirty tracks, and meticulously put together and digitally remastered by Scott Hull (Pig Destroyer/Agoraphobic Nosebleed), ‘A Collection Of Depravation’ is an essential must-have for fans of the long running death metal/goregrind masters, or fans of grindcore in general.
The set opens up with the seven tracks that made up the band’s split E.P. with The County Medical Examiners in 2003. This long out of print release is a definite bonus on this compilation (‘Decomposer’ and ‘Reception Of Cadavers’ are highlights), and thanks to Hull’s remastering, the tracks sound better than ever. The additional cover of Xysma’s ‘Foetal Mush’ (Which appeared on the vinyl release of the said split) is a real bonus as well.
From here, the compilation covers the four tracks from the band’s split with Filth (Released in 2004) and the four tracks featured on their split with Machetazo (Which was again released in 2004), along with a few prime selections from their two full-length releases.
Aside from hard to find/vinyl only tracks, ‘A Collection Of Depravation’ also features its fair share of previously unreleased tracks, with a clutch of songs resurrected from the ‘Left Hand Pathology’ sessions, the Butcher ABC split sessions (Leftover tracks from the same sessions that produced the band’s split effort in 2009) and the ‘Corpus In Extremis: Analysing Necrocriticism’ sessions.
If that wasn’t enough, the band have also included their cover of Repulsion’s ‘Maggots In Your Coffin’ (Which was released on 2009’s ‘Tribute To Repulsion’ on FDA Rekotz), Carnage’s ‘The Day Man Lost’ and predictably enough (And I say that because the band have always been tagged as a Carcass ‘Symphonies Of Sickness’ worship act), their take on Carcass’ ‘Empathological Necroticism’ - an unreleased gem from 2001.
‘A Collection Of Depravation’ is a well put together collection of General Surgery rarities, lavishly packaged (The liner notes from the band members are worth the asking price alone), and overall the kind of release that diehard fans shouldn’t be without.

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© Justin Donnelly