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Cut Up - Wherever They May Rot Award winner

Cut Up
Wherever They May Rot
by Anna Chase at 17 May 2017, 2:18 PM

CUT UP is a fairly recent band, formed in 2014, who bring a platter of good old-fashioned gory Death Metal to the table. The band is from Karlstad, Sweden, and is made up of four guys and their impressive beards. Their first full-length album, “Forensic Nightmares”, was released in 2015 and blasted them into the Metal community with their particular style of aggressive, violent Death Metal. Since then, the band has toured all over Europe and in 2017 revealed their second album, “Wherever They May Rot”. All of the band members have extensive experience in the genre of Death Metal, in fact, 3 of the 4 are veterans of VOMITORY, another band which was formed in 1989 and broke up in 2013. With the acclaim that CUT UP has received from music reviewers and their combined knowledge of professional musicianship, I had high hopes for “Wherever They May Rot” and wanted to feel like I’d been brutally murdered by the end of the album.

The album rips open right from the get-go with an onslaught of stuttering drums, demonic guitar riffs, and Björnson and Rundqvist’s dual vocals in “Ear to Ear.” The screaming solo combined with the intense percussive quality of the drumbeats create a wall of pure brutality. This song made me want to break things and kill someone; perfect for Death Metal. “Necrophagic Madness” is truly madness. I didn’t know just how talented the members were until I heard Bertilsson’s psychotic shredding in this track. The vocals are the kind of vocals I like to see in Death Metal: they’re not so distorted that they just sound like noise (therefore, I can understand the lyrics), but CUT UP manages to infuse sheer power into their growls all the same.

“Behead the Dead” stars those same vocals as Björnson and Rundqvist overlap each other and intertwine with the explosive guitars to create a complex and technically intricate song. They definitely have a similar tone and focus on the same themes as CANNIBAL CORPSE, however, in my opinion CUT UP sounds more musically advanced. The album’s title track, “Wherever They May Rot,” is an intense and ear-shattering 3 minutes and 49 seconds that blasts its way into the listener’s memory. The guitar riffs are surprisingly catchy, a rare sight in Death Metal, and honestly this song is pure, grinding, brutality. The chugging breakdown at 1:51 is my favorite part of the song, as well as the vocalizations that sounds as if Björnson and Rundqvist are vomiting.

“Vermin Funeral” is pounding and gritty, and definitely my favorite song of the entire album. The rhythm here is thudding and savage, and while the riffs are fairly simple, Gustafsson’s relentless drum work and the terrifying gutturals do more than make up for the lack of complexity. It’s impossible to not head bang during the breakdown, and to date, this is one of the most vicious Death Metal songs I’ve heard. “By Hatred Bound” is a solid song, however, it didn’t match up to some of the others on this album. Despite its technical strength, it just didn’t stand out like the others in terms of riffs and melody. The syncopation of the drums and guitars was a bit overused and confusing, however, this isn’t to say that it isn’t strong.

“Psychosurgery” is probably one of the coolest song names I’ve heard, and the nightmarish guitar riffs and choppy vocals further add to its effect. Bertilsson and Björnson really rip on this song, and their riffs blend into a ferocious mix which makes me tired just listening to it. The energy within this album is unbelievable. “In the Aftermath” is a close second only to “Vermin Funeral”. It’s slow and grinding, slightly industrial, with an emphasis on the rippling guitar riffs and vocals. The depth achieved in the growling is impressive, and rivaled only by bands like DEVOURMENT and DEMILICH. This is a kickass song which I’m sure warrants huge, violent mosh pits at CUT UP’s shows.

“Master Dissector” is bass-heavy and relies on rapid-fire, crushing drum beats to create a song that’s the epitome of traditional Death Metal. The breakdown is muted and simplistic, but simultaneously creates an intro for the wailing solo which screams through the rest of the instruments. The extended growl around 2:30 deserves some recognition too, as a vocalist for a metal band myself, I know how hard that is to do. “Cranium Crusher” draws elements from Speed and Thrash Metal to develop a breakneck Death Metal track that thumps into the listener’s memory. The vocals work perfectly here, and add even more brutality to a gory, pulverizing song which blends double bass drums and surging guitar riffs.

“Raped by the Blade,” just by the title, sounds like a CANNIBAL CORPSE song. The track’s slow intro is a clear juxtaposition to the relentless speed of “Cranium Crusher,” but soon grinds into a distorted, aggressive guitar riff which tears along behind the vocals. The drums and bass steal the show around two minutes here. This song is a percussive masterpiece. Overall, I might be a bit biased because I love Death Metal, but I still maintain my integrity as an interviewer. The shared experience between CUT UP’s band members is obvious, and they are a talented and professional-sounding group which deserve far more recognition than they have.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. From Ear to Ear
2. Necrophagic Madness
3. Behead the Dead
4. Wherever They May Rot
5. Vermin Funeral
6. By Hatred Bound
7. Psychosurgery
8. In the Aftermath
9. Master Dissector
10. Cranium Crusher
11. Raped by the Blade
Lineup:
Erik Rundqvist- Bass/ vocals
Andreas Björnson- Guitar/ vocals
Anders Bertilsson- Guitar
Tobias Gustafsson- Drums
Record Label: Metal Blade Records
     


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