Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mutilation Rites - "I Am Legion" (2012) [Gilead Media]

East coast black metal quartet Mutilation Rites have been ascending the rungs of popularity's ladder rather quickly over the past year. After two impressive self-released CDr's and a monstrous split with Batillus, Mutilation Rites suddenly manifested on Wisconsin "thought-provoking metal" label Gilead Media's roster and, more recently, have joined the Prosthetic Records family. After seeing them perform with Lord Mantis, Batillus, and Sourvein in Chicago last July, I found myself in complete agreement with their popularity, but who couldn't deny themselves a nice, solid, undeniably American black metal band who pays homages to the right source material?

At a mere 17 minutes in length, the single-sided LP I Am Legion, released late last month on Gilead Media, is a short, sharp, shock of powerful, droning black metal. The three tracks presented, titled "Cloaca Maxima," "Blood Will Tell," and "Terrestrial Hell," are all re-worked, re-recorded versions of previous demo tracks, which were already pretty solid. While the material on this EP (Is it an EP? Is "One-sided 12-inch" a new length-based format?) isn't necessarily anything super new-sounding, taking more than a few pages out of the book written by Ihsahn and John Gossard in the 1990s, I Am Legion is still a pretty enjoyable listen. Sonically, even if they aren't reinventing the wheel by any means, this is still pretty solid, especially in the bass department. Maybe people still have an aversion to bass to recreate the tinny, direct-to-4 track sound of the 1990s, which is respectable, but it's nice to have some low-frequency "oomph"s to remind me that, yes, we are in 2012. Mutilation Rites are fine by me.

So yeah, as I said earlier, I Am Legion isn't really anything new, but it's performed well and sounds great. Mutilation Rites aren't out there to really change anything, anyway - I'm pretty sure they just want to play black metal. Apparently this LP, whose artwork is done by our buddy Rainbath Visual, comes with some nice goodies, including a patch and a button (I love extra goodies like that). I'll be seeing these guys, along with loads of other awesome bands, at Day 2 of Gilead Media Fest, which starts in three, yes, three days. Who will I see at extreme metal's most unlikely festival home in Oshkosh, Wisconsin?


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