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I don't remember how I got my attention to this band. I think it was a YouTube suggestion, but I'm glad I took the advice. This EP is what thrash, and metal, in a general manner, should be all about. The amount of energy displayed by these english guys is just amazing. The leads, the drum work, the vocals, even the back vocals are incredible.
The first cut of the release is my personal favorite: "Scrap Brain Zone" starts off shooting around a beautifully crafted set of riffs, while Luchtenstein displays a piercing vocal performance, fitting perfectly with the rest of the instruments. This is one of the major highlights with the release: although it looks like a lot of things are happening at the same time, everything is intentionally calibrated to fit into a flawless composition. After the first track ends, this band takes no time by pounding us into yet another roller coaster ride with the title track. The mechanical riffing, in contrast with the leading solos sprinkled all over the song, makes the cut another highlight of clinically measured violence. In this track we can see not only the ability of this quartet on the musical aspect, but also the wide range that Luchtenstein can handle with his voice.
The other two tracks follow the same path of the first two: everything is taken into the exact measure to create which is possibly one of the best set of thrash songs I've heard in a long time. The production, as every other modern act, is perfect since everything is audible, and believe me, with so many things happening at the same time, you want to hear EVERYTHING that's going on.
It's refreshing to see this kind of new acts in the scene: it's been a long time since we were talking about "thrash revival" and "retro thrash" releases, and this is clearly an evolution of the old school vibe so many bands still use.
It doesn't get a 100% not because this doesn't deserve it, but solely because 4 songs is just not enough to completely enjoy what this band is capable of do. It's been 5 years since this album was launched, but the hunger is still there, hoping for another fest cooked up by these guys. Meanwhile, buy three or four copies of this EP and enjoy what metal should be.
The whole thrash revival thing has been getting a lot of flak from some people for rehashing old ideas instead of coming up with something new, but you can't accuse Mutant of doing that. They've got their own brand of kinda technical, kinda progressive thrash that doesn't really sound like anything else, and happens to be pretty fucking good as well. The vocals are brilliant, the riffs even better, and you can even hear the bass most of the time. The drums are pretty good, but get mainly overshadowed by the gutiars for most of the album, which is a pity because there's some good bits in there. Such is life.
The first track, Scrap Brain Zone, is probably the second best off the EP, and is even better live. It has a brilliant intro section, and keeps the pace up for the whole 5 minutes or so, along with the best soloing out of all 4 tracks. If you don't feel the urge to start headbanging madly within the first 20 seconds, this band is not for you.
Laserdrome has another brilliant opening, but slacks up a bit further in. This all gets fixed around the halfway mark with one of the twiddly sounding riffs Mutant do so well followed by another amazing solo and an outro that makes you want to smash things.
Despite the name, Turbo Hyper Ultra Mega Power is another bloody good one and markedly heavier than the first two. It's also a fair bit more technical sounding, and has the best drumming of the EP. The vocals are also very impressive, veering into full on screaming in a few bits, but the track has the misfortune of being put before The Rauncher, so for me it's almost completely overshadowed.
Speaking of which, the last track is the best by quite a big margin, and the rest of the EP by itself is already bloody good stuff. It starts off with a quite melodic, high pitched riff, with the bass coming through nicely, before suddenly morphing into one of those riffs that sticks in your head forever just because of how badass it is. After a bit of faster paced and equally brilliant stuff, it then changes completely again into another melodic riff, and a kind of quasi-solo, then back into a repeat of the intro. One final solo over the best riff of the album, and it's over. Despite being over 5 minutes long, The Rauncher always feels like it has finished too early, which is about the only negative thing I can say about it.
Seeing you can get this EP for a fiver, there's really no excuse not to. Unless you consider music without blastbeats and growling to be worthless trash, you WILL like it, if not love it, and the last song by itself is one of the best things to come out of the British metal scene since Bolt Thrower. There's not much higher praise I can offer than that, so I won't bother trying.
After hearing only a couple of Mutant's songs I was looking forward to picking up their latest EP at their gig. This is 1st grade technical thrash right here.
The 4 songs have a very modern sound about them (mixed by Scott Atkins) but is done so without being clinical or soulless. Not bad for a fiver!
The vocals seem to be wretched from Luchtenstein, treating you to a gutty, organic sound the way thrash vocals should be. Guitars are tight as hell, with a tone reminiscent of other thrash 'revivalists' such as Municipal Waste and Gama Bomb, and tasteful shredding provided by both Klempner and Luchtenstein. The riffs are varied enough to keep you interested throughout all tracks, with many stand out licks that stick in your head long after headbanging to them days ago! Rare for thrash, the bass can be heard through the mix, mainly following the guitars but not being afraid to wander adding sonic dimension. With drumming the being tight and with some rather nice fills linking the riffs, its a treat to the ears.
These riffs are catchy, memorable, fast, technical and mosh inducing, but somehow keeping a unique atmosphere to the songs with a slight (VERY slight) proggy edge, with subtle flanger added at some point.
If this is just a taster of the upcoming album, I will be certainly adding that to my collection.