Friday, October 16, 2009

Engaged in Mutilating - Population: Zero (2009)

Engaged in Mutilating is a collaboration that includes members of a few other Texan death metal bands, Exulcerate and Putrilage. Population: Zero is their first full-length, following up last year's Process of Human Extinction demo. Their music is cast in a fast and frenetic mold with some influence from bands like Cryptopsy, Morbid Angel and Suffocation. Intense, busy guitar work over punishing drums and the guttural secretions of Aaron "Goregrowler" Mendiola. This band tends to writer faster material rather than the slow and dull 'slam' style which has spread like wildfire through a bloated community of identical sounding local and regional acts, but they can still throw down with some rather interesting use of breakdowns.

Population: Zero sounds bold, menacing and dynamic. The guitars sound great whether they are creeping along like mock caterpillars (the chugging climax of "Metamorphosis") or grinding at an insane pace ("Sphere of Deception", "Carnal Decrepitude"). The leads are sporadic and frenzied. They are mathematical and relentless in their compositions, and though this makes for an intense ride liable to strain your neck, they don't deliver much in the way of memorable riffing. It's not for a lack of trying, as this is not one of those bands who perform 'brutal' for brutality's sake. This is a genuine stab at a tight, modern death metal album, and worth a listen if you've enjoyed the recent work of Severed Savior, Sepsism or Deeds of Flesh.

Highlights: Perverse Influx, Sphere of Deception, Carnal Decrepitude

Verdict: Indifference [6.5/10]

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