Sunday, September 28, 2014

Mutagenocide - Devolve

Rad Nauseam Records/Code 7 Distribution

Although having only been together for four years, Oxford/Witney/Northampton (U.K.) based outfit Mutagenocide have certainly made their presence felt in a major way, with their self titled E.P. release (Which came out in 2012) garnishing plenty of high praise in the metal underground.
In the two years since the release of the E.P., the band has undergone a slight line-up change, with Jay Taylor taking over the vocals following the departure of Freddie Savory soon after the band released their debut. But despite the change of guard, Mutagenocide (Who also comprise of guitarists Patrick Scott and Paul Clayton, bassist Thomas Greenway and drummer Ben Wilsker) have toured as much as possible in support of their E.P. release, all the while refining material for a long awaited sophomore release.
Well, after lengthy and sporadic recording sessions over the last couple of years, Mutagenocide have finally delivered their new E.P. effort ‘Devolve’. And true to the potential evident on their debut effort, ‘Devolve’ is one devastatingly punishing listen from start to finish.
The band opens up the six track effort with ‘Hysteria’, which immediately gives you an idea of what’s in store for most of this new release. The band’s sound is best described as a thrashing groove that perfectly blends hardcore elements with a technical proficiency. In other words, there’s traces of Pantera’s groove based riffs, Lamb Of God’s modern metalcore styled caustic vocals, but delivered with a technical proficiency that keeps things interesting throughout.
The follow up title track ‘Devolve’ (Which is also the first promotional video clip filmed for the E.P.) is a savage and assaulting effort that features plenty of speedier passages intertwined with pockets of catchy groove, while ‘Entombed And Swallowed’ is one of the more experimental efforts on the E.P. with its two minute instrumental introduction showcasing a, dare I say it, bluesier side to the band’s sound. Of course, it isn’t long until the band return to their trademark sound after the intro is finished, but traces of the band’s use of atmospherics and dynamics at the start of the song filter through around the tail end when the guitarists take centre stage to bring things to a close. Without a doubt, this track is certainly the E.P’s. real stand out track.
‘Half-Born’ is another favourite with its strong use of groove and melody without compromising on heaviness (And the spoken word atmospheric breakdown passage around the tail end doesn’t hurt one bit either), while the more straightforward metal based ‘Remeron Nightmares’ and the technically challenging all-out-rage of ‘Wretched’ close out the E.P. in an impressive fashion.
Although I’d be hard pressed to brand Mutagenocide’s sound as truly original or ground-breaking, I have to admit that what the band do in terms of the technical thrash/groove metal genre, they do damn well.
And while I’m not sure what the band offer up here could translate as effectively as it would over the course of a whole full length album, what Mutagenocide offer up with ‘Devolve’ works a treat in its condensed and compact form.
In short, Mutagenocide is certainly a band to keep an eye out for in the future, and ‘Devolve’ comes very highly recommended.

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© Justin Donnelly