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What little faults there are on the demos are killed off here. The sound is perfect and oozing and disgusting, the vocals still death metal, the drumming still less blast more sense, and it is fucking sweet. The sound is really what carries this, it sounds like undead marching, rotting and desiccating, the epitome for this style of death metal friendly gore grind, and can show some interesting tricks to a lot of today’s death metal as well, especially the ones suffering from sterility.
Almost all of the songs are perfect on here and many of the crowd pleasers are from this album, ‘After Accident’, ‘Xenomorph’, ‘Torsions’, ‘Let me Vomit’ and ‘Maggots In Your Flesh’ all from this one slab. The few fillers on here are also top notch, but compared to such greats it is hard to keep it steadily awesome. Way better than their second performance, still with the awesome vocals, not the vocal distortion, which I also liked. But it is always better to hear a real live human throat in action. The way this shit sounds is the awesome part of it all though so gory, so nasty so rotten, you can almost smell the nauseating sickly sweet fragrance of rotting flesh in the air as you put this on. The guitars are thick as hell, fuzzy distortion, heavy bass sound, also distorted, deep as all hell vocals, full nice warm drum sound that allows you to hear the body of the drum itself, a rarity in death metal, which this partially belongs to. Lots of grooves lots of blasting, what more do you want? The best cross between the two genres and with a sound that is perfection for both. Buy or die.
It’s like a decayed, half buried stinking Harmony Corruption. Fetid grooves, muddy sloppy sound AND playing. And those VOCALS!… Belches from a week old cadaver. Choke full of noisy and spazzy “solos” and some fantastic vocal ‘’Veeoooooooo’’’s that reverberate and infect the air. All in all this is VERY charming stuff!
Boasting some absolutely remarkable groovers (After Accident and Torsions especially) and some downright sick atmosphere ‘’Surgical Disembowelment’’ is a cult classic of sorts for those of us who love it lo-fi, insanely catchy and ripe with personality. I feel almost redundant already in my review but I can’t help but to stress how all of the various features on this make it an animal of it’s own. It all blends and merges together so perfectly. Relaxed rhythms along side some leaf blower guitars and those near laughable squeals of nonsensical mayhem passing off (barely) as solos blur together with gas fueled vomits telling tales of horrific accidents to beautiful people and vomiting inside of sexual organs.
But that’s not all! At this point in Dead Infection’s career they were still a Death Metal band, so don’t expect any full on lessons in blast-gore. As previously mentioned it’s like a gory Harmony Corruption, from time to time lines are blurred between death & grind but for the most part one would consider this early 90’s Death Metal.
Opener ‘’Maggots in your Flesh’’ rumbles and stumbles, Kelner burps out a ‘’thrash’’ but the tempo never gets bouncy or happy instead it finds itself drowning in it’s own filthy, syrupy glory, again Kelner burps forth, and the music is still as relaxed and as drunken as can be-until the blast hits, expect no hyper blasting, the blasts on here are more akin to Paul of Cannibal Corpse fame but mostly Mick Harris. But even so, the song finds itself mostly settling in a gruesome little groove, a groove that seems to flow through the album from beginning to end.
I would describe more songs in detail but I don’t want to ruin anything for the uninitiated, ‘’Surgical Disembowelment’’ isn’t an album for every one…but it certainly has it’s niche. If you would like to hear something between Cannibal Corpse’s Butchered at Birth and the twice mentioned Napalm Death’s Harmony Corruption; then by all means exhume this rancid little charmer. You’ll also find out where Cattle Decapitation ripped off their solo style from!
To think, there was a time in my life where I almost sold this CD for somewhere around $50.00 and (I purchased it for about $5.00) however I have since changed my mind. I have yet to decide if it was worth passing up whatever I would have purchased with the $50.00, because while good, this album isn’t amazing or anything. What you have on this disc is about a half hour of slow, semi-brutal, death metal, that sounds no different when played at full blast, then at any normal volume.
Thankfully when they made this album the band took there music seriously and attempted to make an album with some taste, by taste I don’t mean something exquisite, but instead of an album where the band attempts to be as fast, rude, and offensive as possible Dead Infection made an album more about the music instead of shock value. Taking a page out of early Carcass they use several medical themes, stories about tragic accidents and the like, but musically this album starts out good then somewhere in the middle the songs take a dive and it becomes less and less interesting, which sadly ruins some of the repeat listen value.
For a death metal album Surgical Disembowelment isn’t really that violent sounding, I wasn’t really blown away or anything, and after the fifth track the entire album ended up becoming sort of a background music, I don’t if it’s because I listen to slower metal more than I do faster stuff but on the rare occasion I listen to some of my death metal albums, I usually listen to them because I want to be blown away. The production really is what gives the CD this personality, the whole album (excluding the vocals) sounds incredibly dampened. You can make out the majority of what is happening with the album, so it isn’t a sound wall like several back metal albums are, but the sound doesn’t really rip you out of your skin and start throwing you every which way around the room.
This album starts out slow, with a nice drum intro, then speeds up, but never really gets so fast that you stop keeping track of the album, and just get lost in the mayhem. Mainly this is due to the drumming, which at times get fast, but is usually at a medium pace. We thankfully don’t have an annoying blast beat marathon but they are used almost too sparingly. Cyjan really likes to bang out the cymbals, so usually when the album is going at its faster speeds he is using one hand to bang away on the symbol, and the other is busy using the snares, and the big bass kick drums. It was alright at first, and I usually don’t really get that picky about exact specifics but after a while this became a little bothersome.
Overall this album is pretty heavy, which also helps depress the tone of the album. The bass work isn’t really your typical non-existent stuff, instead it is Black Sabbath influenced (especially for the song intros). We don’t really get to hear any specific bass lines, but Kelner makes his presence known.
The song writing for the guitar work is pretty flexible, nothing ever really gets technical. There are a few solos thrown in there but nothing is really that spectacular. The riffs are pretty similar sounding with every song, and sadly not a single one is memorable.
We get a lot of breaks into quieter parts on this album. Several of the songs start slow, break into slower parts, the slowly speed up again, which were my favorite parts of the album. However I wish that the album would speed up at times, not just tread along like a huge armor tank. “After accident” is a good standout track because it doesn’t really plod along like some of the songs do. However after that the album gets kind runs out of gas for a while, almost like they blew out all there energy with the first five tracks (which still aren’t that chaotic). The songs pick up again a little bit towards the end, but this album pretty much falls into a repeating format after a while and sounds stale.
I have the biggest problem with the vocals on this album. The standard and tolerance of your average death metal fan has evolved over the years (especially due to the mass over population of the death metal scene) to the point where any vocals done on a death metal album need to have at least two different styles. The vocals on this album sound lazy; Kelner never seems to get into it. Through out the entire album he does the same unmotivated low vocals. No high pitch vocals are used, every once in a while we get a vocal line that fades out, and I think maybe there was one pitch change, so after a while the vocals get old. Someone is credited for backing vocals but I don’t think they actually did anything, or if they did, there vocals were either buried by the production, or they copied the main vocalist.
This album is like an armor tank, it is always moving at a slow rate, at times it speeds up but it still can’t keep up with the rest of the army. I love slow music, but this album simply has little to no power behind it. Seeing as this album was made in 1993 and was the bands first effort, I can accept some of the flaws. However this album made me more tired than any death metal album should. I saw some stuff I liked about the album, and am interested in looking for some of the bands newer material (seeing as only there drummer is left of this lineup) but sadly this album has very little repeat listen value.