Carcass - Surgical Remission/Surplus Steel (EP)
Nuclear Blast
Death Metal
5 songs (17:40)
Release year: 2014
Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Goat

As the title suggests, this is both a stopgap release and a collection of leftovers from the British death metal gods. All bands have tracks that don't make it onto their albums, whether due to not fitting or simply not being good enough. Here, both are true; speaking as a big fan of Carcass and their 2013 comeback Surgical Steel, I'd struggle to say that anything here belonged on that higher-status full-length. 1985 (reprise), for example, is but a slightly longer version of Surgical Steel's intro, there leading into the rabid Thrasher's Abattoir and kicking things off with a bang, here petering out rather sadly into nothing.

Yet the other four tracks, gathered from various sources including a free give-away with Decibel magazine and outtakes from the Surgical Steel sessions, are good enough to be at least worth a listen, if strangely unexciting. Why, for example, was A Wraith in the Apparatus chosen to open the EP when it's one of the most Carcass-by-number tracks present, mid-paced and chugging, with only a not-his-best solo from Bill Steer (and some better backing vocals that prove Firebird didn't dull his death metal powers) to mark it out? The following Intensive Battery Brooding is slower, but grooves hard, has better soloing and soon speeds into thrashy speed for the final third – and would have a made a better opener.

In comparison, Zochrot can't help but feel a little smaller, focusing more on the melodic side with plenty of lead guitar, and Livestock Marketplace is downright weird, with almost spoken word and singing from Walker at moments. A pretty disappointing EP, then, all in all – imagine the buzz that twenty minutes of speedy, razor-tipped songwriting could have built if the band felt like pushing the envelope a little – but there's nothing actually bad here and those who enjoyed Surgical Steel will like this for what it is.

Killing Songs :
Intensive Battery Brooding
Goat quoted no quote
Other albums by Carcass that we have reviewed:
Carcass - Surgical Steel reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Carcass - Necroticism – Descanting The Insalubrious reviewed by Khelek and quoted CLASSIC
Carcass - Symphonies Of Sickness reviewed by Goat and quoted CLASSIC
Carcass - Reek Of Putrefaction reviewed by Goat and quoted 75 / 100
Carcass - Heartwork reviewed by Jay and quoted CLASSIC
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