Mutilation Rites
Harbinger

After listening to Harbinger, I am kicking myself for not having listened to Mutilation Rites earlier. Apparently this is their second full-length. From what I can gather of their previous work, Harbinger seems to represent a significant step in a more caustic, less melodic direction in the vein of many a band nowadays purveying in deadly mashups of death metal, black metal, and d-beat crust/sludge. 

There is stuff in here from all over the metal map. “Tactical Means of Ouroboros” toys with thick, deathy sludge, and “Contaminate” displays some solid, tight, thrash riffing, mashed up against some dissonance and blackened d-beat. Drummer Justin Ennis, who played with Tombs in their early years, provides the necessary agility behind the kit to support the varied ideas and many changes. This album also features the addition of Ryan Jones (Today Is the Day, Wetnurse) on bass, which may also partially explain the subtle incorporation of other genres. 

But by and large, the backbone is ripping black metal that revels in chaos and dissonance. The band changes the tactics of its assault frequently, but never in a jarring way. Even “Ignus Fatuus,” which starts with a slower, deliberate black metal approach and evolves into twisting dissonance, is well-placed and coherent. The bendy guitars at the end of the final track, “Conspiracy of Silence” call to mind Weakling or Leviathan, and in the same way as those bands, this music manages to hit upon that serious nihilism that many bands, while ostensibly evil, dark, and/or satanic, fail to capture. The mix (by Kevin Bernsten, who also worked on Bastard Sapling’s latest) keeps things from getting too messy, but lets some residual filth convey the proper atmosphere, the perfect approach for this kind of music. 

Mutilation Rites takes influence from only the best and stitches it together into something that is recognizable and accessible to a certain extent but also unique and powerful. This is a must-listen for fans of the new filth along the lines of Bastard Feast. 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J. D. Anderson
December 10th, 2014

Comments

  1. Commented by: Jason

    This sounds pretty badass. I really dig Ryan’s playing so I’ll to check it out. Great review!


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