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There was a definite change per Amputation's first and second demo; for one the vocals became more deep; the production darker, rather than more raw; also the riffs became more thick sounding and death metal oriented. This release seems like it was going for more of a dark feeling. Basically it seemed like the goals for the first demo were to play as fast and extreme as possible. Yet on this demo, things were paid attention more to having a dark atmospheric side. The songs aren't long or epic in any respect, there is only a short sound bit at the beginning of both songs, and then non-stop music. Yet there is a deeper, more cavernous feeling coming from Slaughtered, compared to the fast and more extreme Achieve demo.
The production on Slaughtered isn't any more improved than the first demo. For instance the volume: I still find myself turning up the knob on my speakers louder than usual. Also, there is a thick layer of reverb on top of all of the instruments. Giving it a somewhat mudded sound, along with the overtly deep tuning on the guitars and bassier growls. However, it seems to of been properly mixed, yet improperly recorded. In any respect, you get an even, almost rehearsal/live sounding demo.
Slaughtered compared to the first demo's music didn't impress me more, not because it is shorter and the first demo is two songs and so many minutes longer. Both styles have been done before, yet I prefer the extreme and raw talent that Amputation put into the Achieve the Mutilation demo more. Even if Slaughtered had an equal amount of songs, they play a mudded deep and monotonous style of death metal that's been done many, many times. The atmosphere comes off as dark and sinister. Yet there are few stand-out moments, even within the confines of each of the songs. However, Amputation's style still has mid-paced and faster blast beat sections to keep you busy. The drummer on this demo started to play more technical chops. Displaying frequent snare and tom rolls, and a fair amount of cymbal clasps and other fills. The cymbal clasps give it a stop-and-go flow, where the riffs will continue to play but the drummer will decide to join in at different intervals. The bassist is either M.I.A or blended so evenly with the deep guitars that it is hard to tell. The guitars play more sinister, extended single back and forth riffs. They can usually be heard blended into the background, and played at a constant delivery, with a multitude of basic and dark song writing versatilities. He uses plenty of palm mutes, but they can sound like a wall and it is hard to even tell that he is doing them if you didn't concentrate closely.
Demos will often be looked at in variation by many different bands. For instance, sometimes, a promo, which might be taken with a grain of salt. Because it isn't the bands "best" performance, just a sample of the goods. Bands also in this case will shift genres between releases, even before they even record an album. It is probably a better place to do so, because once that full length comes out, it changes a lot of things. And people might look at it more harshly than a demo. Because demos are often the band in the experimental and also the learning stage. I look at Amputation's two short releases as what they were capable of doing. Although there comes a parting, because I like the one style displayed more than the other.
Prior to settling on Immortal, members of that band played death metal with the likes of Old Funeral and Amputation. Old Funeral is the more popular of the two, having much of their older material re-released on CD a few years ago. Personally, I find a lot of the Old Funeral stuff pretty boring and run-of-the-mill. As for Amputation, the music seemed much darker and a bit more original, especially on this second demo of theirs. Their first demo was pretty standard low-quality death/thrash but this tape is a big improvement.
The music on this release could best be described as aggressive, dark death metal which doesn't really follow any certain type of formula (i.e. Swedish, Florida). Although, the guitars are played in a thrashy type of way that's reminiscent of some American bands like Possessed or early Autopsy. On this tape there are fast blasting sections, slower heavy moments and everything in between. The two songs are similar in structure but are both catchy and memorable to the listener. It's a shame they didn't record at least two more, because these are some excellent offerings of dark death metal.
The production is about average for a demo recording, but all of the instruments sound good and the production suits the music well. The only problem I have with the sound is the bass drum, which is recorded a little too low in the mix. It's not terrible, but the music would sound much heavier if the bass drum stood out more. Speaking of the drummer, he does some light blasting on both songs but it's not until the rolling double bass sections where he really shines. These beats, along with the chunkier guitar riffs result in some extremely heavy parts that will make you want to go out and exhume dead bodies. There's also some fast solos thrown in for additional headbanging moments. The vocals are thick, throaty grunts with a great intensity to them. There's a small amount of reverb used, but that only helps accentuate the dark mood.
A highly recommended demo. Pity it's so short.