Review Summary: A album that could only be described as a passionate orgy of technical brutality, with blends of melody, unmatched percision and style...yet no one cares?!
Somewhere there's a police officer preventing auto theft, or preventing the rape of a potential victim. Yet elsewhere there's much more heinous crimes being committed all around unsuspecting people, and no one cares enough to intervene. What crime is that you ask? Neglect ion within the death metal community. I wonder how many find it suitable to sleep at night when undistinguished, unexceptional, uninspired, overproduced bands such as "Brain Drill" and "Beneath The Massacre" are stated among the first when technical brutal death is mentioned. What a world it is we live in...But on to the review.
Festival Of Mutilation Festival Of Mutilation @ MySpace
is an independent (how are they not signed?!) band from Bosnia that plays a peerless brand of brutal death, and considering the genre and the slew of commonplace acts that isn't an easy feat. The music is modern yet very classic in its approach and sound. The most equitable correlation would be the song structure of early "Morbid Angel", with the technical precision of "Visceral Bleeding". Besides that there is no one band you could easily note correspondence to. They have a sound unlike any other, which is quite difficult to accomplish in the death metal genre. The music is pitch black, but simultaneously crystal clear, shifting from white hot speeds to sludgy back and fourths. It's really a sound all their own.
First and foremost is the production. The production is a clear as it is thick. Every instrument of every song drips evenly at the light-speed of molasses. Enough cannot be said of the ambience the production choice sets. It's dark, and loud and precise...everything a metal albums should be, fundamentally. (Hopefully this starts a trend, but it's a good one, so it won't.) Along with the production, the song configuration is another exemplary feature of this album. Varied comes to mind. Every thirty seconds there's a new riff, or solo, and it's better than the previous one played. They never seem to end, and there's never a shortage. All the songs on the album consist of ample riffs, and you’re never idle, waiting for the token “good” riff of the song. There are no two minutes riffs, or extended breakdowns, yet each riff is memorable enough and never dashes past you.
Seriously...this band should strongly consider selling their riffs to Necrophagist or some other band who needs better ones. They're layered, fast, and grand in scope, etc...If ever you've wanted an cd just for the guitars, this would be one. For example at 2:57 in "Gods Of Infernal Desolation" you get a technical, blistering riffs followed by a sweeping solo, and those few seconds are worth at least a download. Or take 1:56 of "Awakening of Marduk, you get the speed of "Spawn Of Possession” and the brutality of early "Suffocation" with the pounding of their riffs. So much happens in such short time intervals, the rewind button becomes immediately becomes vital. "Ares The Victorious" displays this, as you have some quick stop, start action which in seconds leads to slower, heavier shredding. Oddly enough, the shift in riffs never seem forced, and the songs for as long as they sometimes are always flow perfectly.
Of the ten songs, every song feels convincingly different from its predecessor…all the songs have its own distinct sound. Whether it's "Live The Suffering’s middle-eastern feel, or "Poisoned"s slithering atmosphere, and dizzying guitar play, or the closer’s “Bloody Existence” epic feeling. And yes, there is only one guitarist, Jasenko Dzipa, who more often than notes invokes the imagery of a possessed demon with four hands, mutilating the guitar with a twisted melody in honor of his lord Satan. In contrast "Whitechapel" has three guitarists....WTF?! BUT wait, there's more...the bass.
This is a bass player’s album. The bass is present in absolutely EVERY song. Definitive bass adds such another dimension in brutal death, one that's rarely touched upon. Unlike many other death metal albums the bass feels like an equal to the lead guitar, getting enough time to enhance the songs. I can't recall an album where the bass is more prevalent. There are not just small sections where you can kind of hear it like most death metal bands, it's constantly heard. Sasa Dzino’s bass licks just make the already tremendous riffs that much more powerful. And they're just as fast and varied as the lead. (See Throne of Hades and "Awakening Of Marduk").
As good the guitar playing is, the vocals aren’t as such. Every now and then the tone is altered to a more black metal sound, but for the most part there are just standard death growls. Drumming is there, and it's not at all bad but you won' be focused on it at all, it'd just seems to be lost in the mix at times...Still, in the end there aren’t many negative factors regarding this album. Well the album cover is kind of cheesy in a goregrind meets black metal sort of way"...Plus “Weeping Soul” is only 51 seconds….it would’ve been better to either have a longer instrumental, or just another song. Some of these songs are over 5:00,... yet they always end too soon. The production is old-school, but it's unique and translates well. There isn't really and concrete errors regarding this album. Simply put this was one of the best albums of 2009, and in the ways it was overlooked....seems criminal. This is the type of band that should be a household name, with a big contract and tons of praise, but perhaps its better this way.