Carcass - Surgical Remission/Surplus Steel [EP] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Surgical Remission/Surplus Steel [EP] (2014)

Nuclear Blast

Last year’s Surgical Steel was a very much welcome return to form for British death metal pioneers Carcass. Thankfully, the recent rarities EP Surgical Remission/Surplus Steel proves the band had even more great songs saved up. While the whole thing is awfully short (four songs, plus an instrumental reprise of Surgical Steel’s “1985” that’s packed with guitar squealies), it’s still a solid placeholder until the next (hopeful, hypothetical) Carcass full-length.

One of the things that made Surgical Steel so strong (and so aptly named) was that the album was a breakneck burst of brutal metal. Tracks like “Intensive Battery Brooding” are a little more spacious, a little slower and perhaps even a little more open to hitting grooves. The material is certainly as dissonant as anything else in the band’s canon, but these songs are just out there enough that I can see why they didn’t make it to the album proper.

The songs are still fully realized though. Given how intricate these tunes get, it’s surprising Carcass would leave anything off an album. Frontman Jeff Walker can spit the sickest bile, B-sides or not, and his demonic howl cuts through these songs.”Livestock Marketplace” has him graphically comparing sexuality to slaughterhouses. It’s more for shock value than Puritanical thought, but the guy sure knows how to provoke. So while Surgical Remission may be too short and sport a clunky name, it certainly carries a bit of weight all the same. Think of it as Tools of the Trade Part II.