Mutilation Rites death-splashed destruction smears filth, blood all over blackened new ‘Chasm’

Photo by by Suren Karapetyan

Classic, blood-soaked fury should be enough of a descriptor to lure anyone with metallic tastes to the band Mutilation Rites. They’ve spent the past several years slowly building their violent empire, going from the underground to a stint with Prosthetic Records and back to their skull-crushing roots, all the while compromising absolutely nothing.

The band has returned with the filthy third record “Chasm,” a collection that veers far closer to the charred fields of death metal that dabbles in black metal, all the while practically suffocating the listener. This is the first record we’ve gotten from the band since 2014’s savage “Empyrean,” jointly released by Prosthetic and their long-time label home Gilead Media, and it’s an album that never relents for a second. The band—guitarist/vocalist George Paul, bassist/vocalist Ryan Jones, guitarist Michael Dimmitt, and drummer Emmett Ceglia (Tyler Coburn of Yautja handled drums on the recording)—sound like a hellish, evil horde here, imagining torture and death and lathering their music with that madness. It took a few listens for the thing to really set up its terrors fully, but each subsequent visit has opened up bloody guitar routes not realized before and devastating assaults that make themselves clearer, right before they take off your head.

“Pierced Larynx” starts this destruction rightfully with feedback scorching and the guitars trudging to life. The growls scrape viciously, barely able to be deciphered, while the violence rumbles over and through the chorus. The track hits a spot where it boils and gives off steam before bursting again and mangling at the final gates. “Axion Destroyer” is dangerous from the start, burning a path of savagery and unleashing hellacious growls about watching the torture of a loved one. The track thrashes and makes you choke on mud before coming to a blistering end. “Ominous Rituals” soaks in darkness at the start, as guitars swirl and bring chaos, and then the bombs drop. The riffs rip a hole in the goddamn universe before they settle into a killer section that’s even a little proggy. Death growls melt while the pace heats up, punishing and bruising as it drags you to the end.

“Post-Mortem Obsession” has drums bustling to life as a killer riffs meets up with it, and then we’re into furious speed. The death growls are hellish and bloody, and later on, the song adopts some rock n roll swagger, adding attitude to your bloody wounds. Things then get disorienting before the band outright mauls you again before roaring to its end. The title track has delirious, dizzying guitar work, as well as raw, razor-delivered growls that hurt to absorb. The band bashes with reckless abandon, with the vocals clashing with your psyche, and the song coming to a destructive end. Closer “Putrid Decomposition” is the longest cut, a 10:59-long monster that has black metal strains at its front end before it blends into tricky and melodic waters. Again, the vocals are delivered with rusty saw carnage, while the drumming devastates, and the punishment builds. The guitars hang like a poisonous cloud, threatening a heavy storm, and once the clouds break, raspy wails are spat like nails, the pace is hammering, and the unforgiving beating fades along with your consciousness.

Mutilation Rites’ reign has been rock-solid throughout their three records and nearly a decade together, and “Chasm” continues to up the ante as to what these guys are capable of conjuring. Every inch of this record is coated in filth, and you might find yourself gasping and choking through tears as you take this trip. This band never had a concern about your physical or mental well-being before, and they sure as hell are not about the start now.

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