Mutilation - Conflict Inside
Death Metal
10 songs (45:30)
Release year: 2004
Reviewed by Crims

An interesting point was brought up when I read a review of this CD at another website. The promo sheet that was sent in the package with this band’s CD listed the style as Old School Death Metal, which the reviewer had pointed out. He said something along the lines of that there are so many variations of Death Metal these days that a band can’t play just Death Metal, it has to be clearly stated… what with so many bands combining Death and Black, Death and Thrash, Death and Grind, and so forth. I’ve stated before in other Death Metal reviews that those styles and bands within those styles have their merits but there has been a severe lack of straight Death Metal bands over the past 5 years or so. Thankfully, bands like Blood Red Throne and Mutilation are carrying the flag of “old school” Death Metal and carrying it unapologetically and with pride. Conflict Inside is Mutilation’s third CD and if you live for the days of pure Death Metal with no exterior influences, then this is the CD for you.

You might be wondering: we already have Blood Red Throne doing the classic style of Death Metal, and very well mind you, do we really need another band like this… are they just a Blood Red Throne clone? The answer is a definite no. Where as Blood Red Throne took a leaning towards the Monstrosity, Morbid Angel school of Death mixed with a touch of Cannibal Corpse, Mutilation sticks closer to the Possessed, early Death, Suffocation school of Death Metal mixed with a touch of Dismember for that added crunch and slight groove. This means that the songs are built around riffage, not necessarily speed. Sure, there are some blast beats and fast Scream Bloody Gore styled Thrash runs but just like Suffocation did on Human Waste, the speed is used to accentuate the song rather than form the basis for it. This is a good thing in my books because there are a lot of solid riffs on this CD. They have an excellent crunchy tone, have a slight Thrash hint at times (like Death Metal did when it first came into existence), and they provide countless minutes of head banging. The guitars really never let up and if you like to head bang this CD will make you smile and hurt your neck as the double bass runs with both fast and mid-paced snare are placed just at the right moments.

The vocals, meanwhile, are one dimensional. You basically have a growl that isn’t totally indecipherable but isn’t exactly throw away the booklet material either. The singer stays in the same range for almost the entire CD with very few Glen Benton moments of high-pitched screams doubled over deep growls or multiple vocal tracks to accentuate the vocal lines. The sound of the growls is somewhat distinct though and the placement of the vocal lines is quite good at times and almost makes up for the one dimensional aspects… almost. Other noteworthy characteristics of this release are some quality guitar leads that have the Leprosy feel of alternating between melodic and structured to chaotic and all-over-the-place. It worked in the past on many Death Metal releases and it works here as well. The overall production is good; especially the crunch and tone of the guitars, but the double bass could have been a tad more powerful.

I love old school Death Metal and Conflict Inside was advertised as such, and delivered on my expectations. I liked the fact there were actually mid-paced moments in the songs that were still as crushing and punishing as the fast sections. The riffs also maintained a high consistincy of quality throughout the release but I found some of the later songs to be especially good, thus somewhat lessening the impact of the first few songs on repeat listens. While nothing stands out as being classic material or overly outstanding, Conflict Inside makes for a very fun and somewhat nostalgic listen that I’ll return to whenever I feel like injuring my neck for 40 plus minutes. Fans of old school Death Metal definitely check these guys out, you won’t be sorry.

Killing Songs :
Damned Mortality, Rise For Victory, In The Name Of Heresy, Imminent Chaos
Crims quoted 75 / 100
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