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A solid oldschool record - 80%

Under A Funeral Moon, July 1st, 2016

Gutted were a death metal band from Ohio, active from 1992-1997. In those five years they released two full length records and two demos. This is the first of their records, released in 1994 - Bleed For Us to Live.

This album starts off with a track titled “Bleed”. The song starts out slow, but then all of a sudden it punches you right in the fucking face. What sounds slow and doomy in the beginning soon turns into a full-fledged, oldschool death metal assault. The lyrics in “Bleed” are of the gore variety, but the thing I like a lot about this album is that not every song is about just gore. There are a good amount of songs on here in the anti-Christianity realm.

The second song “Sins of God” is a prime example of the above. One passage stuck out to me in particular:

“Who are you to decide my fate, I was not taught to praise
What is good was the past because time alters mind

Men of god, men of man, what is now, what is then
Speak your word in a book, what is true is overlooked
Disciples of the Christ horde brainwash you, poison minds
What man is he? What seeds were sewn? Do your own, be your own.”

Lyrics are incredibly important in an album, and wow, I have to say, this record hits the mark. Gore lyrics don’t bother me, but I think if they’re overused they get annoying, repetitive, and boring. While there is gore stuff on here, it’s not annoying, it’s not written poorly, and it’s not in too vast of a quantity.

The instrumental side of this record must be addressed as well because it is exceptional. The bass in the beginning of the track “Cold in the Coffin” was a great way to start the song, this album is pretty bass heavy. No instrument is mixed too low, which is something I find a lot of these older records suffer from. Take Autopsy’s Mental Funeral - you can barely hear the bass. The drums and guitar fit very well in, as well, the guitar solos are comprehensible and technical, without overdoing it. I also want to give mention to the slower passages in this album. On many songs there are slow passages that feel as if they are exactly where they belong and contribute much to the overall song.

Overall, this is a really, really solid record. Any fans of old school death metal should give this a listen! 8/10.

Definitely one of the best US DM albums ever! - 95%

dismember_marcin, September 24th, 2010

Shit, it's really hard to believe that such a devastating album remained so unnoticed and I myself haven't even heard of GUTTED until 2008! The only explanation I can find is that I'm not the only one, as this album must have had really shitty promotion at the time of its release. Real shame, as nowadays I can say it's one of the best (!!!!) death metal albums that came from the American scene at the time; it even equals such masterpieces as "Leprosy" or "Human Waste". From my first listen of "Bleed For us to Live" I was hooked, these claws from the cover caught my guts and ripped them unmercifully. Absolutely killer stuff.

Before this CD, GUTTED has released two demo tapes - first one "Into the Gates of Insanity" was pretty much weak and dull, but the second demo called "Disease" was a sign that this is a band to watch. The music was truly phenomenal and this debut album is just same, only with better production and even more killer songs. GUTTED hasn’t changed their style at all since that demo – actually “Bleed For Us To Live” is a natural successor of “Disease” and simply develops the style from it. Here’s the same catchiness, the same fantastic groove, massively brutal parts, mostly mid or slow paced, hardly ever really fast – but they did play some blasts, which just massacre like in “Chock Full of Guts”… Really lovely stuff.

GUTTED used the same RT Audio studio and they knew what they’re doing. This place gave them fantastic production and this album has even more brutal sound. You can hear it especially with the vocals, which seem to be bit more guttural. “Bleed For Us To Live” contains ten tracks in total – only few of them are really new, as there are basically all the hits from “Disease” demo. I must admit it was wise decision to put them here also, as these songs simply deserve to have place on a full length. New compositions aren’t any worse and kill with equal strength. Pure relentless force, with such amazing and memorable tunes as “Death Before Dismember”, “Skeletonized”.

Any surprises? Not really (hmm, maybe an acoustic fragments in “Flood of Blood”?). I love the way GUTTED composed their songs, with so many great ideas, many hooks, quality stuff and no fillers. All that created an amazing album, which I would never consider as boring. I could listen to it and listen forever, without any signs of boredom. I also like the titles of these tracks – truly classic for death metal like “Chock Full of Guts” or “Kickin’ the Corpse”, not to mention “Death Before Dismember”. Well, I guess I like everything about GUTTED. It is just a fuckin’ must to have. Hmm, the only complain I can think of is the way this album is released. I have a feeling that somehow the version of CD I have is a re-release done by the band, but it's done so poorly that it disappoints. No lyrics, no booklet, nothing what normally should come with such an album.

Grounding and pounding a graveyard near you - 75%

autothrall, August 14th, 2010

Being surrounded on all sides, for miles on end with anything but ocean can certainly castrate the human spirit, and perhaps this is one of several reasons why the Midwest and surrounding states have such a great history with producing ample underground death metal. Gutted were a band out of Ohio, who formed in 1992 and had a decent run of about half a decade, in which they produced two albums and got themselves involved in the brutality of the heartland scene. They never exactly took many liberties in the genre, so they don't sound a whole lot different than a mix of old Death, Obituary, (early) Pestilence, Bolt Thrower, Autopsy and Cannibal Corpse, with a fairly thrash-influenced interface to some of their riffing, but on the whole the debut Bleed for Us to Live is an adequate treat for those who appreciate carnal, bludgeoning rhythms void of complexity but long on violent saturation.

Gutted was home to a trio of men with the surname 'Ditch', which could not be more appropriate to the music they perform, because it is murder metal of brute character that will soon have you disposing of the corpses of your victims in just such an earthen domain. The bar for proficiency in this band is held very low. Each rhythm pummels you like a carnivorous caveman who ran out of mammoths to spear and decided you, being outside of his direct tribe, will be next on the cold stone platter. Arguably, this band was an early variant on the 'slam' segment of the population, because the riffs bounce and throb so dreadfully that they make for perfect, old school moshing. There are few if any truly -core influenced breakdowns, but the core of their slow to mid-paced material comes across like Jungle Rot, Benediction or Suffocation during their simpler grooves: stupid but very sure of itself when it comes to entertainment.

Horror samples are dispersed and the vocals of Mark Ditch are extremely forceful. Since he barks and growls them at such often measured, slow paces, you really get to feel each hostile emanation as it escapes through his diaphragm and the caverns of his mouth out into the air beyond. He's as much Glen Benton or Chris Barnes as he is Chuck Schuldiner or Martin van Drunen, and its quite welcome, because it provides an extra level of effect over the very basal rhythms of the guitar and drums. Leads do appear, as in "Cold in the Coffin", and they are largely successful in contributing some atmosphere, but for the most part, this is just one stomping riff after the next, all saturated in neanderthal vocals. Favorites here would be the heavily thrash/mosh-influenced "Skeletonized" and the grooving bass and slams of "Chopped Up at the Altar" or the concrete fist fucking "Flood of Blood". Occasionally the band will pick up speed, but this doesn't really suit the John Tardy-like ability of the vocals to truly howl themselves across the graveyard with little resistance.

I like Bleed for Us to Live, and it certainly qualifies as a 'minor classic' in landlocked USDM, though not one I would be in any rush to purchase outside of a highly possible bargain. If you appreciate some death metal that preys more on the atavistic impulses of early man, thick of skull and brow and hunting for the flesh of great beasts and women than a heady aspiration to exercise their frets beyond compare and channel the great composers, then its quite possible you would appreciate this debut. Its the better of their two efforts, and the band did seem poised to reap the sub-genre's surge of popularity during this time, armed with a thrifty, memorable logo and a fairly iconic, interesting cover with a pair of clawed hands catching a waterfall of blood. The one real flaw is that outside of the solos, there's not much of the 'evil' atmosphere that I so worshiped in old death metal. There is brutality and aggression, sure, even at this slovenly pace, but the music won't exactly haunt you, so it falls below the category of essential.

-autothrall
http://www.fromthedustreturned.com

AWESOME Old-School Death/Thrash! - 90%

thrashtildeath22, June 25th, 2009

Here it is, boys: it is albums like these that defined the old-school death metal genre. The creativity, originality, and variety found on records such as this is what seperates that early period from the monotonous, repetative stuff being churned out by generic death/grind bands today.

Gutted play a very unique style of classic death metal that blends death, thrash, doom, and even groove elements together to form the final product. They switch seamlessly from blistering brutality to Kreator-style riffage and again to some very crunchy, doomy sections. What this results in is an album that is varied, does NOT get boring, and is very easy to listen to from beginning to end. There is not an ounce of filler on here, and I can honestly say that I would have loved the album to go on for at least another track or two.

Add to the mix some groovy middle sections. In my opinion, this is what makes Bleed for Us to Live stand out from the pack. There are more of these neck-snapping mid-paced riffs than you might find on, say, an early Grave or Entombed record, but they are still far from entering into stupid slam-death territory. They pull off everything with attitude and finesse, and the whole thing really works.

They really manage to weave together some nicely written, fairly lengthy songs, too (for this type of music, that is), without getting full-headed or overlong. These guys really knew the workings of a good album, to say the least. There really isn't too much or too little of anything here, and it makes the whole thing very enjoyable.

I'm surprised no one has reviewed this yet. The only reason I'm not rating this higher is because there are lots of all-time death metal classics out there and I don't want to exagerrate. But even still, if you are a fan of early death metal in the least, get your hands on this. You won't be disappointed. It'll leave you asking yourself: where have the glory days gone, when bands were actually imaginative...?