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Gutless - Mass Extinction

Mass Extinction
by Quinten Serna at 29 May 2019, 1:26 AM

From the land down under emerges the soulless, visceral, and malevolent machine that is GUTLESS, unhindered and uncaring they step out of the stretching shadows and into the spotlight with their guttural sound and malign imagery. One item that goes unheard by novice and trained ears alike is the sound design whereas only when you listen closely can you but only start to decipher the size of the band—and to my surprise as well—such that they are only comprised of three members in their fold; a singer/guitarist, bassist, and drummer make up the soundscape that lies before any and all who listen, and by this factor they accomplish much more than other bands whose numbers never cease to grow.

The demo, “Mass Extinction,” commences with the aptly named “Brutalized into Submission,” a tale of immurement and destitution at the hands of an unknown and unkind force; the song itself begins with a slow draw, a few sparse notes played and picked evenly between the guitars with the tinged accent of the snare trailing softly behind before the kick takes off and drives the song in a more upbeat direction. The song itself plays around in different rhythms and dynamics creating a whole disquieted tension within the track as the drums will slow or speed up independent of the strings and growls. The guitar cries out in a wailing solo (whose timbre is a bit too close to the rhythm’s) and evolves into a black metal-esque run.

The second track, “Evil Incarnate,” takes the reigns as being the most peculiar song found within the demo as it opens up with a direct quote from Richard Kuklinski, better known as the Iceman. The song then jumps into a tumultuous cascade of ridged guitar work on top of relentless kick drums, a single growl changes the focus of the song and we are greeted with a faster more intricate riff interlaced with harmonic accents. Each track on the demo becomes more and more depraved in lyrics and context as the demo nears its end, with “Carnivorous Flesh” being the most depraved of these—a true verse of the genre. The song speaks of vivisection along with the consumption of flesh. Within first listen I was certain this song spoke of torture and cannibalism, though with the open ended lines it becomes more and more difficult to discern whether or not that was the intention or just the reception of the lyrics. With the goal of the lyricist being to define a theme and portray it through prose and poetry the song could well be about ikizukuri, the preparation and consumption of living animals such as fish, lobsters, shrimp, and other sea life; though, as with most other items, it is something left up to interpretation.

This demo exceeds in its sound as it feels larger than life and is itself even more impressive when one learns that it was recorded between a studio and the guitarist’s house. The tracks are a bit muddied and ill-defined and the tracks do not offer a large variety, but the music is there and that is what matters more than anything in the end. GUTLESS is a band for any enthusiast’s playlist and their next production can only get better.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Brutalized into Submission
2. Evil Incarnate
3. Boiled Alive
4. Cnidocyte
5. Carnivorous Flesh
Jamie Colic - Bass
Olza - Drums
Tom Caldwell - Guitars and Vocals
Record Label: Chaos Records


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Edited 21 March 2023

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