(TheMadIsraeli reviews the new album by Cut Up.)
There are a few death metal bands that just instantly turn me into a foaming-at-the-mouth violent super-brute — Hail of Bullets, Vader, and Bloodbath. Those bands are the epitome of no-bullshit consistently killer riffs, consistently savage speed, consistently relentless songwriting, and consistently skeleton-crushing grooves. Join Cut Up to that group.
Cut Up are a band who have a lot of pedigree due to the backgrounds of the members, and it shows. Forensic Nightmares is the most perfect death metal album I’ve heard this year, and it too turns me into a foaming-at-the-mouth violent super-brute at heart when I listen to it.
It’s kind of like the sound of entrails being shoved down your throat and set on fire when you listen to this album. It doesn’t give a fuck who you are, what you are, or about the worth of your very life. It makes sense though — Cut Up has blood in it from the desiccated rotting corpse of Vomitory, one of the most putrid death metal bands ever. However, the honest comparison to make, if you are looking for a frame of reference, is that Cut Up are Dismember 2.0. They do everything Dismember ever did, but better, faster, and with more technical proficiency.
In a way (dare I make this statement?) Forensic Nightmares is the Like An Ever Flowing Stream for this generation. It somehow feels as classic and defining, and it feels entirely relevant despite the fact this is nothing but old school death metal worship. The thing is though, Cut Up FEEL it, they embody it, they KNOW their identity lies in what they do.
The first two songs, “Enter Hell” and “Burial Time”, are an excessive double-whammy of adrenaline-inducing murder. It’s all meaty angular chord impacts and tremolo picked speed demon marathons. The opening of “Enter Hell” especially, when the main riff kicks you in the teeth immediately, is a fucking power surge. “Burial Time” is a similarly frantic-paced song but it also has an enjoyable slowdown midsection that builds up the intensity for the final revisit of its intro riff.
There’s plenty of fast-as-fuck shit on here, but there’s also incredibly plodding, grinding sandstorms as well, such as “Remember The Flesh”, which should satisfy that Suffocation groove/slam itch and “Brain Cell Holocaust”, carried by an eerie tremolo-picked theme that harkens the best of European death metal.
There are different flavors and textures, though, despite the ruthless Dismember 2.0 aesthetic. Sometimes Cut Up are precise, sometimes they give way to grind-driven reckless abandon, sometimes it’s melodic, and sometimes it’s a precision-based beating.
The icing on the cake is the ABSOLUTELY SUPERB mix. This album sounds as meaty as a pile of rare sirloin steaks sandwiched in between T-bones. The guitar tone especially is overpowering. It grinds you to dust; you can feel it pressing into your soul and eating away at its composition.
This is the kind of album I’d normally write 1000+ words over, but it seriously doesn’t need it. This is absolutely ruthless, vicious, filthy, grotesque, psychotic perfection at the genre’s peak.
Forensic Nightmares will be released by Metal Blade on June 30.