One of the reasons folks get so hooked on early death metal, particularly the 80’s demo tape scenes, is the realization that as populated and inspired as any scene might be they didn’t often rely on a sound as much as they had to jock up their songwriting skills to stand out. Mantas didn’t crawl out of that hole writing boring songs nor did Nihilist. As I simultaneously draft a review for the upcoming full-length from Ithaca, New York death metal band Mutilate and spun their demo on repeat, I figure starting with some words about ‘All Life Ends’ sets the most appropriate tone even if this one doesn’t come out for a couple months yet.
These guys have an undeniably old school death metal sound that aims for a mix of the primitive depravity of the mid-80’s demo fare as those bands carried into the early 90’s. This EP in particular sounds like Derketa‘s ‘The Unholy Ground’ demo with a punched up drum production sound and breaks some ground towards Master‘s unreleased album from 1985. With no revisionist douchery intended, Mutilate probably have better songwriting sensibilities than a very young Paul Speckmann and I’d probably compare their catchy moments favorably. Their knack for memorable thrash and groove influenced guitar riffs and some breaks into early death/doom translate very well across the EP’s shorter format. The title track is particularly memorable with a, likely unintentional, Jungle Rot-esque wonk to it’s style.
Whether these are leftover tracks from their ‘Tormentium’ sessions or an entirely separate session, the mix is comparatively raw. It’s roughness feels like an old sandpapered copy of Acheron‘s ‘Rites of the Black Mass’ minus the interludes, especially on “Slaughter in the Night”. Each track has it’s own feel and even though I’ve already been indoctrinated by this band’s upcoming full-length, I’d say these three tracks are a choice introduction to the band’s capabilities and sensibilities alike. It is damn remarkable that someone has written a memorable set of death metal songs that aren’t shit-balls cheese-trash in 2018, and I have to commend Mutilate for their skill and stylized sound.
|Released||August 3, 2018|
|BUY/LISTEN on Camo Pants Records’ Bandcamp!||Follow Mutilate on Facebook|
Immortal reaper’s scorn. 4.0/5.0
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