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Is man the host, or is he the disease? - 83%

hells_unicorn, June 5th, 2012

Hungary’s own Gutted had been at the game of creating decrepit, revolting death metal for the better part of 10 years, with a punishingly long amount of time between each effort that is generally reserved for a seasoned group of veterans who spend more time touring than they do recording. Coincidentally, these long periods of studio silence will find the band coming back with their new album with a completely different perspective on the genre, so much so that despite the same key players still creating and performing the music, each album sounds like it was done by a completely different band. Their debut saw them in something of a 3rd tier form of Cannibal Corpse, while their second endeavor saw them blossom into an impressive technical outfit in the mold of a New York/Canadian brutal/tech. outfit, so the question becomes, what rotting marshes of human depravity will they venture into next?

“Mankind Carries The Seeds Of Hell” marks the most impressive and auspicious paradigm shift that may have been encountered in a death metal outfit in a fairly long time, and it almost ventures into the realm of being a certified new classic. All of the strong technical elements that made “Human Race Deserves To Die” an enjoyable venture into Suffocation territory have been kept, but also amplified and supplemented with a greater level of showmanship (particularly in the guitars), and also a much more melodically nuanced and epic format that is more along the lines of the colossal works normally heard out of Vader, Immolation and Deicide. This tight rope between technical brutality and classic traditionalism is walked quite effectively, and result in an album that is engaging and multifaceted to the point of transcending the 2 different schools that typified Gutted’s 2 previous albums.

In a sense, it can be argued that this band of mad Hungarians have been learning as they go, picking up new tricks and putting them to effective use as soon as they are mastered. Nowhere is this more present than in the vocal display, where multiple voice types are employed (by multiple people) to create a toneless, ghoulish choir effect that’s not all that far removed from latter day Carcass material. Alongside this is a denser atmosphere of complex guitar and bass work, though the bass is not nearly as prominent with the exit of Andras Selmeczi and the almost funky elements are absent. This is compensated for with a much heavier level guitar activity, as Gabor Drotos has essentially gone from an all-rhythm player to a fret board blazing expert after the spirit of Cryptopsy’s most viciously technical extravaganzas.

Finding a single defining moment in this frenetic mixture of blast beats and nebulous riffs is pretty much a lost cause, as things take on the nature of a swarm of angry wasps, all of them grouped together in the most homogenous way possible. This is an album that listens like an album, and should be experienced in its full, 42 minute glory (a fairly long duration for a brutal death album that doesn’t turn into a progressive hybrid) at maximum volume. This isn’t quite powerful enough to overtake most of what this band’s new inspiration Vader has put out, but they’ve definitely got a shot if they continue down this road.