Bloodgutter – Death Mountain (Trollzorn Records)

Friday, 5th May 2023
Rating: 8.5 / 10

A Danish band forming in 2019, Bloodgutter is a four-piece outfit of good friends who wish to play a gritty, groove-oriented form of death metal for their debut album Death Mountain. Half of the lineup has ties to another long-running death metal act in Dawn of Demise, while drummer NP Nielsen was a part of the groove/thrash metal outfit The Kandidate for the 2012 Facing the Imminent Prospect of Death album – so the abilities are there. Over this eleven-track effort, evidence builds that a love of Stockholm/ Swedish influences collides into a mix of Obituary/Autopsy pounding to keep the material focused, sharp, locked into low-tuned, aggressive entertainment.

The gritty, buzz saw axe tone from guitarist Martin Sørensen allows for chunky, gripping passages at a variety of paces – be it quick hitting / punk-induced for the under two-minute assault “Unternehmen Gericht” on through to the swampy doom/death follow-up “Fill the Graves”. The formidable rhythm section of bassist Bjørn Jensen along with the already mentioned NP Nielsen waste no time setting the groove table upright on the hook-oriented mid-tempo opener “Katabatic Death Wind” – injecting the right blast to tribal transition measures where circle pits obliterate audiences succumbing to the aural carnage. Riding over the top is the discernible yet evil growls of Mikkel Lau – conjuring up a bevy of vocalists from LG Petrov to Dan Swanö for death magnificence on highlights such as “Rot Awaits” and spitfire furious “Jaws of Death”. Self-produced while Jacob Bredhal at Dead Rat Studios handles the mastering, you wouldn’t think it’s the year 2023 based on the throwback tones or quality on display – the skeleton/skull filled cover art unmistakable as to what the listeners are going to get style-wise from these musicians.

Bloodgutter holds promise because they allow the focus to be on strong riffs, smartly executed gallops or groove-oriented transitions that make sense, keeping the arrangements on point before moving to the next idea. Death Mountain is another platter that pays homage to the early 90’s death development, yet contains enough entertaining, creative output to gain modest respect from all who love this style.

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