|Review: Gutwrench (Netherlands) - The Art of Mutilation
|The Art of Mutilation
Label: Vic Records
Year released: 2018
Genre: Death Metal
Review online: February 11, 2024
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
How do you rate this release?
Rated 4/5 (80%) (2 Votes)
You can always count on Vic Records to unearth some lost gems. I remembered this promo (lying in wait somewhere in my promo email folder, as you can see by the release year) while I was reading about the band in the book Streams of Ancient Wisdom: The History of Dutch Death and Extreme Metal in which there was much praise for this band by almost everyone interviewed in the book.
This is a compilation of the band's demos from 1993 and 1994, their only releases, as it turns out. This was still relatively early for death metal and, unsurprisingly, there's a thrashy edge to Gutwrench's music. The riffs are really addictive, sometimes a catchy "machine gun" type, sometimes much slower and heavier, slowing down to a doom-like tempo before blasting away at full speed. The guitars have that razor-sharp sound that slices away at everything. The music has a dark vibe throughout, on occasion sounding suspenseful and melodic; there are a few passages like that interspersed throughout that take you off guard, surrounded by the much more all-guns-blazing riffage otherwise found here. The growls are deep and raucous and somewhat decipherable, and the singer does a great job blending those with the vibe of the music—it's just a joy to listen to. Considering this came from demo recordings, the sound quality is actually very good. Very solid early-ish death metal that calls for multiple repeated listens. Note that it seems like this release is about 62 minutes in length and my promo is only 50 minutes, short three songs, but I highly doubt that the last three songs would have anything in them to taint this great release. ;)
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