Mutation
Error 500


4.0
excellent

Review

by Kingdok USER (8 Reviews)
October 29th, 2013 | 7 replies


Release Date: 2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: How did Hell become Hell?

About a year ago, Ginger Wildheart announced the details of his second Pledge Music campaign, part of which was the Mutation project. Featuring Shane Embury of Napalm Death, Jon Poole of Cardiacs and Denzel of Young Legionnaires alongside Ginger, as well as a whole host of guest slots from Hawk Eyes, Mark E. Smith, Merzbow and many more, it was described as the heaviest thing Ginger had ever done. Hopes were high. When I heard Error 500, however, the constantly pummeling drums and the never-settling times and tempos made for a very difficult and challenging listen. By the end of the second spin, I was all set to confine this album to the back of my playlist and forget it, however my adoration for the creator's previous back catalogue convinced me to keep trying. After around the fifth (seriously!) listen, it started coming together for me, and the ridiculous amalgamation of thrash, hardcore, grind and tech metal finally made sense.

Bracken kicks of proceedings with a furious riff, which blends into an even more furious drum beat that drives the track along whilst constantly changing the time signature and the tempo, never settling in one place for too long. The initial impression created is of a hardcore monster with more tech beats than should be healthy, and it's probably the most straight forward thing on the album.

Utopia Syndrome is next, and is probably as close to being melodic as Error 500 ever gets, with Ginger singing about an apparent upturn in fortunes before degenerating into screaming "I'm so happy I coud s**t!". Although not quite an album highlight, it tees things up nicely for one of the most stunning tracks I have heard his year, White Leg. Things start off relatively calmly enough with a twisted, rolling riff that seems to double back on itself whilst hitting the off-beats, then layers a second riff on top that nails the first to the beat, before the drums go out and out bats**t crazy. It then pulls back as the vocals yell the verse back and forth. Just as it seems the song can't get any more hectic, it calms down for the chorus where female vocals pacify the mood, bringing a feeling of normality to the song, until the verse kicks back in. Again, the drums keep changing the timing of the whole song, never letting it settle in one place for too long and enabling it to keep the listener guessing as to where it's going next.

Whilst each song on this album is really of its own making, the cleverly-titled Sun Of White Leg does feel a little like a pair with White Leg, as the name suggests. The barked exchanges between Ginger and Hawk Eyes' Paul Astick give the verse real aggression, each one building on the others' fury, seemingly competing to outdo the others' insanity until the song slows almost to a stop and the chorus comes pounding in on a much more harmonious vibe, with ringing keys picking out the rare sung vocals that keep rising all the way until the drums start pummeling away, signifying a return to what passes for normality in the world of Muation.

Mark E Smith lends his uniquely identifiable vocals to two cuts here, the bizarre and almost dance production-styled Mutations, and the more thrashy Relentless Confliction. While the former is possibly the most unusual track on an already unusual album, the latter really shows off the strength of the Mutation project. The lyrics are gloriously demented ("Your shoelaces are bleeding out"), and Ginger's counter-balancing vocals give the song a huge depth. The main thrust of the track is a very simple riff, which is allowed to play out during the middle and end of the song with the drums constantly switching timing underneath. It is a stunning example of creative musicianship, letting the guitar riff stay the same whilst the mood of the song changes entirely due to the drumming style.

The album finishes with Benzo Fury, where thunderous druming propels the song behind thrashing, screeching guitar lines and Paul Mullen's perfectly pitched vocals all come together to create the perfect soundtrack to Armageddon. It is probably the most adventurous song on the album, and really is the ideal summation of everything that has gone before.

Despite the length of time it took for me to get into Error 500, it is an extremely unique and undeniably heavy listen. There is so much going on in each of the album's ten tracks, and although the production values are not amazingly high, with some of the sounds getting a little lost in the mix and the vocals can be quite indiscernible at times, this just adds to the overall appeal. Something as brutal and raw as Error 500 should not really sound pristine and polished, and as such it rewards the listener on each successive listen.



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user ratings (6)
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
titanslayer
October 31st 2013


2714 Comments


You misspelled ties in the third paragraph, instead you have tees. Good review, I'll have to check this out.

Kingdok
October 31st 2013


151 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thank. I meant tees tho, as in it sets things up nicely. Maybe its more of an English term!

Ultihelmethead
October 31st 2013


10 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Just heard about these guys today. This is the most "love at first listen" band I've heard in an extremely long time.

Kingdok
November 1st 2013


151 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good to hear. Took me a while longer to really dig it, but it has continually grown on me since then. And I absolutely love White Leg.

Ultihelmethead
November 1st 2013


10 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

It really took me by surprise. I've heard Ginger's work with The Wildhearts, but I never dreamed he'd mix his penchant for brilliant pop melodies with something this visceral. Even more amazing is how well it works.

Kingdok
November 1st 2013


151 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Agreed. Having been a huge WH since Earth vs, Mutation still took me massively by surprise. Hafta admit I preferred Frankenstein Effect to this, but is amazing how different even those 2 albums are to each other. Would love for TFE to get a proper release as well, would be totally justified.

Ultihelmethead
November 2nd 2013


10 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

For sure. I would love for this to do well enough to warrant a release of Frankenstein Effect as well as at least 6 more albums.



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