Review Summary: Baby, you know that you were born to lose/Come blood yourself in the slaughterhouse blues!
Last year, British death metal giants Carcass proved that they could still make a headbanger with their first album in over seventeen years, entitled Surgical Steel
. As brilliant as their comeback was, though, Carcass knew that it would be risky to record and release entirely new material right after hitting such a peak. So, to put the icing on the cake, the band recently released Surgical Remission/Surplus Steel
, a collection of b-sides and previously unreleased tracks from the Surgical Steel
sessions. At only five songs in length, Surgical Remission/Surplus Steel
is exactly what you’ve come to love or hate about Carcass’s sound, only a little bit slower. This is because most of the tracks on Surgical Remission
strive for a mid-tempo approach when compared to the fast-paced onslaught of Surgical Steel
. “Zochrot” and “Intensive Battery Brooding” are primarily driven by Bill Steer’s groovy riffs, while “A Wraith in the Apparatus” relies on Jeff Walker’s sinister vocal delivery. “Livestock Marketplace” is a more controversial track, with the band harkening back to their Swansong
days by bringing in a more death ‘n’ roll type of style in the mix. With all that being said, however, Surgical Remission
’s biggest strength lies in that it doesn’t just feel like a slew of rejects from Surgical Steel
. It becomes very apparent that while it is an offshoot of its predecessor, Surgical Remission
still manages to hold its own. And when it all comes down to it, Carcass’s b-sides manage to stick out more than some bands’ singles (In Flames, I’m looking at you). In the end, Surgical Remission/Surplus Steel
is a solid continuation of Carcass’s return to form, and is a welcome treat to diehard and casual fans alike. Somewhere right now, Michael Amott is weeping and cursing himself.