Cut Up – Wherever They May Rot (Metal Blade)

Tuesday, 21st March 2017
Rating: 8/10

To this scribe, there’s nothing more timeless than well-written, balls-to-the-wall death metal. Not the type of stuff you have to sit around and dissect the influences or the technical patterns or the country of origin, but the kind of death metal that just speaks for itself. Pure, raw energy that gives you that burst of aggression and fury to make it through the day. Wherever They May Rot is the latest release to usher in that sentiment.

Coming from the ex-Vomitory pair of Erik Rundqvist (bass/vocals) and Tobias Gustafsson (drums), the above sentiment should not cause much of a surprise. Vomitory being one of the genre’s more under-rated gems back in their day, and Cut Up’s work thus far, with this being their second go-round, continuing to hold the death metal flag victoriously. Frantic and blinding speeds are the norm here, with “By Hatred Bound” and “Master Dissector” being some choice cuts in this area. But it is all about songs here, not speed runs, and more mid-tempo and melodic crunchers like “Vermin Funeral” and “In the Aftermath” giving the album some balance with monster grooves that are sure to bring you back for additional helpings. The type of thing that almost makes the album seem heavier when they slow down a bit due to the resonating impact of the riffs. Lastly, the album is rounded out by a number of melodic solos (some surprisingly catchy stuff given the style) and a production that allows the music to have enough of a dirty/gritty feel to it without compromising audio, not to mention elevating them above the “stuck in the early ‘90s” sludge of many Swedish peers.

Direct and deadly to a point, Wherever They May Rot takes all of the elements you enjoy about death metal and runs with them. Innovative? Not exactly, but the vibe the album gives off is true. Brutality is the first order here and Cut Up knows how to express it in a way that’s enjoyable and fun to listen to.

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