Broken Hope
Mutilated and Assimilated

Broken Hope has been a force in the United States Death Metal scene for nearly thirty years now.  Jeremy Wagner has really done an outstanding job rebuilding the group and keeping the style of death metal that they have played for nearly three decades fine-tuned and meticulously written.  Here we have their sixth full length studio release Mutilated and Assimilated. This particular record is a concept record tied to the 1981 John Carpenter Science Fiction/horror classic The Thing.

I have to give Wagner a lot of credit for adding Damien Lewski (Gorgasm) to handle the vocal performance.  Lewski is no Joe Ptacek but really who is?  Incredibly difficult to fill a void like that but Lewski does a stellar job and this record waits no time escalating quickly with “The Meek Shall Inherit Shit”. The first thing stands out is the production. Every instrument is locked in and to be honest I hear a brutaller version of Loathing when I listen to this album. Going back four years to Broken Hope’s previous release Omen of Disease there is noticeable progression in song writing and musicianship with this release. Opening up with classic Hope styled harmonies and guttural vox that are on point throughout.

It is also worth noting that guitarist Jeremy Wagner’s use of the late Jeff Hanneman’s famous ESP guitar adds a unique ambience to this album.  Also worth noting is the lead work of Matt Szaichta.  It is quite the task to replace someone like Brian Griffin who was such an important part of the band for many years and Szaichta does an excellent job of stepping up and shredding appropriately in the classic style of Broken Hope. “The Bunker” is one of the catchier tunes on the record and definitely has a lot of elements of past releases. “Mutilated and Assimilated” might be the toughest tune on the record and can definitely see this particular tune causing a very up tempo circle pit.

“Hell Handpuppets” is a unique track in that it opens up with an interesting acoustic phrase and then once the rhythm comes in I am reminded of the Nevermore song “The Politics of Ecstasy”. More or less a similar vibe but definitely a heavier vibe with the direction Hope goes with it.  Mike Miczek’s drum work incredibly precise between the pummeling blast beats and sick double bass groove work throughout the album. “Malicious Meatholes” is a rather fun track that opens up with a fun clean tone guitar run with a unique sample over it.  Not sure what movie or show it is from but definitely fits the classic Broken Hope style of song intros. This is one of the longer tracks on the album at nearly six minutes.

Some listeners might find this entire release a bit long but I think if you approach it as a concept album it becomes a lot easier to absorb after a few listens. Again, I cannot stress how much clearer of a production this album is from the last release. For the most part each track runs around two to three minutes and style wise there are not too many tracks that stick out from one another in the sense of a drastic sound change.   This is a punch you in the face Broken Hope release and it is nice to hear them returning to form with this release.

The summer of 2017 for brutal technical death metal is a cluttering mass of “How do I process all of this?” Well, for one you come to our site and we review these and try to give you the best possible picture of what makes these releases great.  Broken Hope at nearly thirty years of existence have continued to build a body of work that is unique for a Midwest based United States Death Metal. This album is solid start to finish and I think if you have been waiting on these guys to return to proper form Mutilated and Assimilated checks off all of the boxes of a classic Broken Hope Record.  Highly Recommended.

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Nick K
August 9th, 2017

Comments

  1. Commented by: F.Rini

    Great review, Nick. Album destroys!!


  2. Commented by: Jay

    I hopped on the train with “Loathing” and never looked back. This one’s pulverizing with great writing, a lot of intensity and airtight riffs to my ears. Killer review.


  3. Commented by: Red

    I’ve only heard one track from this and honestly, I wasn’t too impressed. I’ll have to pick up the album and give it some time. I’m a long time fan and enjoy all their releases, but my favorite material comes from when Brian Griffin started making huge strides in his playing and songwriting. Loathing and even Grotesque Blessings were excellent; unfortunately, I think BH were more interesting with him in the band.


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