EP Review: CARCASS Surgical Remission
Not sure if anyone was more astonished than I when Carcass unveiled the masterpiece that is Surgical Steel last year. I am admittedly a fanboy, have been since the early 90's so the expectations were decidedly low when it had been nearly two decades since their last release. We all know how that ultimately turned out, setting the album as the best of 2013 by nearly everyone and with the addition of the new EP, the bar has been set to the highest heights.
As soon as they announced the release of Surgical Remissions: Surplus Steel, my credit card was input into the pre-order box the first day, knowing that there must have been some magic to hit the cutting room floor. However, when songs hit the boards there is always a reason: either they didn’t fit with what direction the album took, or just didn’t meet the standards of what made the record.
Surgical Remission gives you a glimpse into the thought process behind choosing what makes a great album and with the entrails left behind as part of the culling of fluff. Out of the four full songs on the EP, only two possess the quality to make it to the last album, and the other two anti-climactic tunes they chose wisely to leave behind.
For fans of Carcass, this is a must have to complete one of their finest releases to date, but overall you are not going to get anything that exceeds expectations. There are some very great moments on this disc though: the bluesy “Livestock Marketplace” riff is fantastic, yet the song as a whole doesn’t feel fleshed out. Really Surgical Remission is all about one song called “Intensive Battery Brooding.” That song could have made the album and the band obviously wanted it to see the light of day, and for very good reason.
No matter what criticism I may have, the worst Carcass song blows apart some of the best of what we call ‘metal’ in 2014. With the spot the band holds in many of our hearts, this hangover from Surgical Steel still elicits a smile as soon as I hear the inspired signature guitar licks and growl that is one of the best bands of the last three decades. I am pulling out my Heartwork vinyl as we speak… the love affair continues.