Mutilation Rites – Harbinger (2014) Album Review

3.5/5

Skulls

Artist Mutilation Rites Album Harbinger Year Released: 22 June 2014
Label Prosthetic Records Genre Black Metal

What is it that Mutilation Rites brings to the dinner table? Why should a music fan listen to them you ask? For one thing, they are the harbingers of their own self-proclaimed filthy black metal, and they named an album Harbinger. Within this record, there are eight ominous and sulking tracks clotted with thrash riffs backed by enraging blast beats. About the only “cleanly” part of this album is the time directly before you listen to it, and that is its intention.

Mutilation Rites - band photo 2014

Thwack! That is the first note of the album, a single drum hit that might as well have been a gun shot at the starting line. If this was a race, Mutilation Rites would be the sprinter that never once lost breath, effortlessly in shape. I can argue that the doom breakdown of “Suffer the Children” might be a moment where this album jogs, but the rest of it is breakneck pace or constantly building to it. Regardless, the frenzied feel is delivered by the incredibly quick pace.

Mutilation Rites - harbinger album coverPre-order Mutilation Rites’ Harbinger at ProstheticRecords.com.

Opener “Black Pyramid” is the longest song here, showing that the band can keep their breakneck pace and weave through movements with ease. Even when drummer Justin Ennis eases back a bit (and literally just a bit), he still finds sporadic rolls and fills to give off the frantic feel.

The syncopation between guitars and drums on “Gravitational Collapse” give the song an added umpf. When that winding bridge riff kicks in at 2:21, keep an ear out for the well-placed drum patterns dousing the accent marks with a high amount of filth.

Stream Harbinger in its entirety at: DecibelMagazine.com

When music is harnessed to a more plausible pace, what happens are catchy melodies where the shrieks of George Paul sound very wretched. The entire opening of “Ignus Fatuus” is an example of this. A more post-black metal instrumental with large chords transgressing behind the boom of a bass. Closing track “Conspiracy Of Silence” gallops all the way to the final seconds, again showcasing how this band seems to never lose breath while exhausting themselves with brazen, heavy assurance.

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Let’s set the table. Black metal, doom metal, thrash metal, and even an “epic” metal feel at the end of “Contaminate.” All eight songs across Harbinger are abrasive, never once trying to sound pretty. That must be why Mutilation Rites label themselves as “filthy black metal.” It would be as if an elegant princess arose from her slumber, splattered herself with mud, and made sure her clothes were tattered, but then again, when is dark and heavy metal supposed to be pretty?

The Verdict:

Mutilation Rites is a great depiction of what ominous metal should sound like. Sometimes the barks of the vocalist can be a little difficult to take seriously, but the musical aspect is well put together. Try to keep up.

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