Review Summary: A strong, albeit predictable, return from a band lost in the world of internet piracy.
I have a special attachment to the New Jersey based outfit Mutiny Within that stems purely from my memories of listening to them before they had really broken out in the mainstream metal scene. I specifically recall stumbling on the music video for “Awake” in rotation on one of MTV’s multiple resurgences of Headbanger’s Ball circa 2010/2011. I feel safe in assuming I’m not the only one prone to that kind of attachment, it’s kind of a comfortable novelty to feel like you’re doing your part in spreading the name of an unknown act right before their big break. Ironically, the band would later lament their lack of success due, apparently, to the state of the music industry and prevalence of internet piracy, but I digress. The feeling is a small scale, intrinsically self-absorbed version of what I would liken to a parent watching their child take their first steps, as I watch Mutiny Within make their second comeback record from apparent obscurity.
In retrospect that sounds dumb as hell, but screw it, it’s my sentiment not yours.
Besides their being a relatively unknown act at the time of their emergence, what also stood out to me about Mutiny Within was their controlled blending of sounds while maintaining cohesiveness. Theirs was a merging of Killswitch Engage esque metalcore, Swedish melodeath, and hints of power metal, three niches that are generally easy to link to one another historically. And it sounded fresh without truly being terribly innovative. Synchronicity
, the follow-up to their debut self-titled, was a drastic refinement, a record that took everything the band did right to their limits whilst pushing their dynamics. Origins
, on the other hand, likewise refines, but does not maintain variation. It’s a straightforward, punchy record that doesn’t overstay its welcome nor features many missteps, but ultimately takes few chances.
Regardless, there’s a lot to like here. “Archetype of Destruction” opens with furious blasting and riffs that segue properly into Chris Clancy’s always memorable choruses. There isn’t a wasted song on the record, outside of the predictable intro track. There are tons of hooks and tasty riffs to latch onto, and the songwriting is always there. Instrumentally, it’s admirable how well Mutiny Within balance a certain understated virtuosity, particularly within the guitar work, with a sharp focus on songwriting. Songs like “Silent Weapons” flourish under the pyrotechnic guitar shredding, and a guest solo courtesy of Per Nilsson doesn’t hurt matters. Essentially though, it’s the Chris Clancy show. The guy’s chops are undeniable, gargantuan range carrying every moment he appears on. HIs harsh vocals are more for flavor than anything, something to match up to the more aggressive passages occasionally, but never to impress in the same way.
The songs are more predictable that Synchronicity
however, which had the good fortune of a few softer tracks sprinkled within its admittedly bloated length. Origins’
songs are often distinct, but they all feature similar traits; fast tempos, big choruses, shred solos/leads, etc. Other lesser issues crop up, such as the operatic vocals that appear similarly on several of the middle tracks, the occasionally cheesy synths, and a production job that is a little too soft around the edges to suit the band when they indulge their harder side. At heart however, Origins
is a slick package that will be a lot of fun for most fringe and casual metal fans, perhaps even impress the more stoic among us, and is a treat for someone like me that has a certain, parasitic attachment to the band.