Mutilation Rites - Chasm
Gilead Media
Blackened Death Metal
6 songs (41' 58")
Release year: 2018
Gilead Media
Reviewed by Andy

In addition to all its death and crust influences, NYC's Mutilation Rites started out with a lot of Cascadian and melodic BM in its DNA. How times have changed. The melodies are gone and so is all the high tremolo picking on Chasm, but armed with tracks with names like Post Mortem Obsession, and a cover featuring a pile of skulls scattered around gravity-defying ruined staircases, the band has centralized death metal as the musical theme of Chasm, their latest LP. Not to say that fans of their earlier black metal sound will be disappointed; the atmosphere still hovers in subzero temperatures, and tremolo picking isn't completely thrown away. But Chasm plays to a strength Mutilation Rites undeniably had from day one: The ability to craft mean, aggressive songs with intricate riffing.

A number of reviewers have noted Mutilation Rites' crust-punk beats over the years, so perhaps we shou/ld begin there. Their previous drummer is replaced by Tyler Coburn, who has also just taken on duties with Thou. His drumming is not quite so punk-y, but I rather like his complex fills, which are well-matched to the Bathory-tries-out-death-metal stylings of Pierced Larynx. While the vocals are a split between black and death metal, sung by two different members, the riffs this time are way more on the blockier side than they used to be, sullen and far down in the register. The band is willing to take its time and crank up the complexity, but there are plenty of furious blastbeat-filled moments to choose from as well.

Putrid Decomposition is a change from the rest of the tracks; the rough sound ceases to manhandle the listener and goes for atmosphere, with the guitars droning in repeating, depressive jangles without any of the complexity they put into previous songs. But with the nice combination of skill and violence that the band shows on the death metal tracks, their foray is likely to be forgiven even by those who don't prefer that type of sound. Chasm proves itself to be a stripped-down summary of Mutilation Rites's considerable abilities, and well worth the listen.

Killing Songs :
Pierced Larynx, Ominous Rituals
Andy quoted 81 / 100
Other albums by Mutilation Rites that we have reviewed:
Mutilation Rites - Empyrean reviewed by Koeppe and quoted 87 / 100
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