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Gutter Instinct - Age Of The Fanatics

Gutter Instinct
Age of the Fanatics
by Paul Carr at 01 October 2016, 9:56 AM

It really takes something special to get yourself noticed in the crowded Swedish Death Metal scene. On debut album, “Age Of The Fanatics,” GUTTER INSTINCT attempt to blast and pummel their way out of the crowd and brand themselves in the consciousness of lovers of death metal everywhere. “Leper Beholder” is a promising opener as it lines up organized religion and corrupt plutocrats in its sights and tears them to shreds. It’s a savage mix of crushing blast beats, beastly riffing and guttural vocals. It's everything you would want from a death metal song but done with a real instinct and understanding of the genre. The band clearly has plenty to get off their chest and do so in a way that is admirably engaging and provocative. Nevertheless, this is as an uncompromisingly harsh listen as you would expect, full of wretched torment. The all-encompassing darkness continues into the title song. It's a grim listen with raw, merciless vocals from frontman Thomas E. The faster songs are as unforgiving as metal gets. There is clearly a primal rage in them that has to be unleashed.

Throughout the album the band are able to seamlessly blend Black and Death Metal and twist it into a form all of their own. They craft a morose soundscape that is thick with hatred with few signs of hope. None more so than on “No Place For The Cross” which manages the rare feat of being surprisingly brutal even for a band as savage as this one. Thankfully, it is easy to share their bleak world view rather than feel overwhelmed by it. After such an aural onslaught, the band skilfully temper the all out brutality on “Bridge Of Broken Bones”. It’s still a ruthless assault to the senses but the band lets the song breathe rather than desperately scramble for air.  It is especially effective as it is framed by such savage brutality. “Death Cult” is as punishing as the name would suggest and contains one of the best riffs on the album. Album closer “Exile” is an initial maelstrom of blast beats before giving way to an old school groove. It is moments like this that mark the band out as more than simply death metal also rans. This is an extraordinarily dark album that is adroitly produced with real skill and understanding. The sense of blackness can become a little suffocating at times but that is probably the feeling the band want to convey. At times it's so dark, it’s like they have discovered a new shade of black. This is as raw as Metal gets with the band wearing their black hearts on their sleeves and leaving nothing left. “Age of Fanatics” will leave you exhausted at the end of a long race into the abyss.

Songwriting: 8/10
Originality: 8/10
Memorability: 8/10
Production: 8/10

4 Star Rating

1. Leper Beholder
2. Age Of The Fanatics
3. Bloodstorms
4. No Place For The Cross
5. Bridge Of Broken Bones
6. An Ending In Fire
7. Death Cult
8. Counter-Culture
9. Faith Junkies
10. Exile
Thomas E. - Vocals
Oscar P. - Guitars
Hannes H. - Guitars
Simon I. - Bass
Ola H. - Drums
Record Label: Prosthetic Records


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