Mutilation Rites – Chasm

Brooklyn, New York, based black metallers Mutilation Rites are a name that have been making somewhat of a buzz in some extreme metal and underground circles. Far from being a necessarily revolutionary band, Mutilation Rites’ sound has been predominantly old school based; being raw, frantic and evil sounding; but they have always felt genuine and backed up with quality.

With their latest and third release Chasm (Gilead Media/Argento), whilst again they may not be breaking the mould with their sound, they do show some leaps.

Chasm still has a primal, ferocious feel and doesn’t let up on pace, ultimately feeling like a pure black metal album still; but it also isn’t afraid to show some expanse and usher in some additional influences. ‘The Ominous Rituals’ for example is black metal at full throttle, the likes of ‘Pierced Larynx’ and the title track showcase hints at old school death metal, both in guitar tone and in its slight sense of groove, whilst lead single ‘Axiom Destroyer’ feels reminiscent of crust punk, additionally.

It is closing track ‘Putrid Decomposition’, whilst also maintaining continued blistering pace throughout, that also manages to show some signs of forward thinking, with changing patterns and riffs over a ten plus minute duration. At ten plus minutes, however, it adds to the album’s slight flaw in that it feels a little too drawn out. Far from being a bad album, however, on the contrary Chasm is a vicious and exhilarating blast throughout, yet it doesn’t always do quite enough to warrant its length.

For all the praise that we deservedly give to the boundary pushers of our world, sometimes the pure and primal just hits the spot. With some slight but recognisable revamping within their core sound, Mutilation Rites still maintain that classic vibe without sounding dated, and thus Chasm is their strongest album to date. A no-nonsense thrill ride that should appeal to plenty.