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Goodbye old school, hello New York brutality. - 74%

hells_unicorn, June 4th, 2012

About 4 years after established themselves as among the more overt Cannibal Corpse worshippers in Eastern Europe, some things changed for Gutted. A couple of lineup shifts and a fresh perspective have brought in a new beast boasting the title “Human Race Deserves To Die”, a bold statement of political fatalism that’s a bit more far reaching than the simple “Defiled” title that graced the debut. But ultimately there’s not much to a title if the contents contained within are yet another rehash of established practices, and surprisingly the newer perspective presupposed in the title comes with an accordingly revamped character of sound.

What is present here is a much more evolved, much more advanced, and much more brutal take on death metal than previously heard. In essence, a good amount of additional punch has been put into the production to give much more of a New York oriented grind character to the arrangement. Likewise, the technical and overall character of the music is a good bit closer to the insanity that one would normally associate with “Pierced From Within” and “None So Vile”. The only thing that really resembles the band’s former Cannibal Corpse orthodoxy is the machine gun drumming, but even that has been kicked up a massive notch by the production quality of the whole and has a much more modern, 2000s feel.

Perhaps the biggest change is the auspiciously active role that the bass has in the arrangement, which isn’t counterintuitive given that this is basically a 4 piece band with one guitarist, but is nonetheless surprising given the band’s professed chief influence. Amid the tremolo picked, chaos infused madness that become “Defilement Of A Marriage” and “A Momentary Evaporating Vision” is a wildly virtuosic set of bass gymnastics that sometimes borderline on sounding funky, if the style were on about 8 grams of cocaine. Equally interesting is that some fleeting but very noticeable lead guitar work that somewhat resembles a Kerry King meets Jon Levasseur flavor. It tends to come from out of nowhere and leave after a few scant seconds, but they definitely make an impact in about as much as their absence did on “Defiled”.

Fans of mid 90s Cryptopsy and Suffocation will definitely like what’s to be found on here, though the vocal work is pretty plain and anti-climactic. It’s difficult to say what sort of changes this band went through during the hiatus they were on, but it seems that they managed to discover that just because you name yourself after a song put out by one band doesn’t mean you have to sound like them 100%. But this album represents a pretty drastic shift in the death metal paradigm, almost to the point that they barely even sound like the same band anymore. Either way, it’s pretty safe to say that the dreaded sophomore slump worked the opposite way here.