BEEP BEEP BEEP goes the fucking alarm. I’d have to go through BEEP BEEP BEEPs by people all goddamn day long which is why I wake up much earlier than the others. Early, you know? 5 am, when the matrix is still constructing the roads and buildings outside. It’s completely silent and I can hear my ear ring from the permanent Tinnitus. I take pride in being diagnosed with Tinnitus, the damage denotes all the fun I’ve had when people chose not to like blasting one of the best Brutal Death Metal savagery out there in form of Gutslit’s Amputheatre.
It’s an intro and eight tracks of growling and pig squealing about a list of seriously barbaric ways of murdering whilst running headfirst into traffic of chugging guitars, bass lines and infinite BPM drumming. Infinite. Not 240. Not 400. Not 900. Infinite. Shit is intense.
The most important aspect about Gutslit’s release is band & record label’s (Transcending Obscurity) completely uncompromising attitude with respect to the content, aesthetics & especially, the presentation. The digipack is another reason to buy this album without flinching once, the cover art by Eliran Kantor (Incantation, Sigh,, Sodom, Virus, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Testament, Hate Eternal and many more) is visceral, vivid and outstanding consistent with his repertoire. The booklet has lyrics, general information about the album & the band.
Enough foreplay for a week, eh? I pull the disc out. Slam it on the tray. Sniff the fresh print ink. Let’s go barbaric.
The opener for the album is the self-titled ‘Amputheatre’ which is a minute long descriptive sample of a shackle-bound man walking in an arcade into the Amputheatre, the crowd extol and applause rise and cuts to ‘Brazen Bull’. Brazen Bull immediately realizes one of the influences from Slam/Brutal bands like Misery Index, Job for a Cowboy. The song has furious drumming by Aaron Pinto and Maryland Death Metal incorporated hooks, riff after riff after riff. The vocals by newly recruited regurgitation machine Kaushal LS shift from growls to pig squeals midway through this song, the song sets the mood but doesn’t do much outside the BDM genre tag. Right when Brazen Bull ends, begins ‘From One Ear To Another’ that is an instant door kicker for a track, this track is my favourite of the album and probably the most individual work by Gutslit that’ll even give sweet Dying Fetus a run for its money. The song starts off with insane riffing coupled by discordant & resonant melodies by Prateek Rajagopal, at a minute mark the song goes berserk with insane tempo, so fast that it reminds one of part-time god, full-time drummer Pete Sandoval (ex-Terrorizer, Morbid Angel), the song reaches bridge with hooks that’ll pelt your head. It’s beautiful. Whilst the rest of the album’s drumming is much more empirical, precise and calculated albeit faster like Donald Tardy (Obituary), I feel the band could’ve gone for more intense approach like this song throughout the album. ‘Necktie Party’ follows the destruction of the previous track and maintains the consistency with some brilliant songwriting, the production falls short for the first and very brief time in the album at around the solo of the song but does no real damage. Hooks & Slams are done well in the album but with due consistency of the Grind aspect of the band & the album, all the Nasum, Agoraphobic Nosebleed begs to be blended with the hooks and ‘money riffs’. I find that is continued in ‘Blood Eagle’ & ‘Brodequin’ with another descriptive prose about torture. Brodequin literally kicks off with a very Grinding tremolo blended with Death Metal riffing. All’s good but turn up the bass, it’s halfway through the album!
I spend a lot of time rooting for the bad guys/chicks in gore, grindhouse movies yelling “DO IT.” Before they do it so coming across some movie samples in the following songs really laid some legitimate foundation for an album that was doing incredibly well without it too. The album’s drumming and stream array like riffing reminded me of Mortician (and the millions of movie samples associated with), the confirmation came along with ‘Maraschino Eyeballs’ that has some of the band’s best rhythm cohesion at about 2:45. The song also has a sample for The Hitcher (1986) which adds to the fun and atmosphere. The penultimate track of the album’s ‘Scaphism’ that has beautiful Slam riffs all along 0:50 followed by some great hooks, the song is a complete gorefest. The final track of the album and the lengthiest is ‘Death Hammer’ that has a much slower tempo. It takes its time to develop into a solid splatter-fest, at about 3:30 the song channels the sample where Wendy from The Shining (1980) getting a reminder what Jack would do to her head, perfectly placed in the song right before a minute of final riffs & outro. The album concludes.
Amputheatre’s theme is basically a simple list of ways of torture performed in a manner that is both traditional sub-genre and yet manages to achieve individuality. There is no commentary on human anatomy, lyrically; neither does the album achieve a narrative through the poetic device of sullen death or torture. What it does is provide you some of the best music descending upon this country’s scene in a long while. The execution is excellent along with the attention to detail chewed down to the bone, literally, in some lyrics. Gutslit’s Amputheatre is a no-compromise, no-bullshit piece of brilliant Brutal Death Metal in every aspect that manages to do what so many bands in the country fail to do.
Gutslit manages to make a mark, in mere twenty-nine minutes. Buy the album.
Official Bandcamp link: https://gutslitindia.bandcamp.com