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Gutted Alive - Killing Desire

Gutted Alive
Killing Desire
by Martin Knap at 17 January 2020, 7:31 PM

GUTTED ALIVE are a Slamming Brutal Death Metal squad hailing from Rochester, New York, bringing the slamz to you slammaholics since 2012. I really like the no BS approach of these guys, be it in the music or self-presentation. No pretentious PR texts or elaborate social media strategy, these guys let the music do the talking. They’ve signed with CND Records, a label with a good reputation among Slam/Brutal Death maniacs, which has released all three of their full-length albums, including the newest one "Killing Desire". The only piece of back-story that I can give you is that Ryan Michael has shortly been the vocalist for the Prog-Death band CONTRARIAN (actually their first vocalist, if I’m not mistaken), but that’s unimportant trivia.

As I’ve said, what GUTTED ALIVE do is pretty straight-forward and unassuming, but they do it well. Their sound incorporates elements of New York Slam, classic Brutal Death in the vein of SEVERE TORTURE or DERANGED as well as Death-Grind in the faster parts of the songs, and everything is sprinkled here and there with some technical breaks or leads. In other words, it’s a nice blend of what makes Death Metal such an intense and fun experience: catchy groove, cavemanish brutality, impressive speed and technicality. "Killing Desire" is short and sweet (as it should be – no need to make a concept double-album when you play Brutal Death Metal, leave that to DREAM THEATER or AYREON) with nine short-ish songs on it. "Purveyor of Filth" shifts between ominous chuggy riffs and fast picked evil DEICIDE kind of riffs. In the climactic part of the song the chuggs slow down to the point where they get a "slammy" feeling, but there is a sudden shift back to fast riffing. At the beginning "Carver of Flesh" shifts between a fun groovy riff that has an almost dancy Goregrind kind of energy and a classic Death Metal style riff. After the opening part the song goes super fast and brutal and there are breaks with super hard cavemanish slams sandwiched between the onslaughts of brutality, which give the listener some space to breath. "Soaking in Torment" has a really catchy and bad-ass chuggy opening verse, but there is an abrupt shift and the song takes a really intense turn – the higher pitched vocals and the sheer speed and aggression give this part a Death-Grind kind of vibe. There is a nice variety in the vocals, we get the deep guttural growls, the squealing kind of Brutal Death vocals and higher pitched ones, especially in the faster parts.

What this album has to offer is meat and potatoes Brutal Death Metal and there is absolutely no wrong with that. If a band manages to write songs that are nasty and fun to listen to, I’m down for that –  and GUTTED ALIVE know how to achieve exactly that. The production is nice too: the sound is clean, but not overproduced, and the bass has a nice, full sound. This album is not going to get the band into the music charts, but if you’re Death Metal aficionado I bet you’re going to enjoy this.

Memorability: 8
Songwriting: 8
Production: 8
Musicianship: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Intro
2. Purveyor in Filth
3. Carver of Flesh
4. Chopped Up for Chum
5. Cold Steel Slash Wound
6. Stump Grinder
7. Murderous Creation
8. Soaking in Torment
9. Eternal Decay
10. Deranged and Enraged
Brandon Graves - Drums
Jason "AHQK the Dragon Slayer" Acquilano - Vocals, Guitars
Ryan Michael - Vocals
Adam Shampine – Bass
Record Label: CDN Records


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