Mangled – Involuntary Organ Donor
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Label: Boris Records
When I’m looking for new bands to add to my playlist, I look for innovation and for bands that think outside the box. Although this quest often takes me into sub-genres of sub-genres, sometimes I just really want to hear something familiar, something classic-sounding that I can really sink my teeth into. That’s exactly what I got with Involuntary Organ Donor, the latest 7’’ EP by Atlanta’s Mangled.
Labeling themselves “gore metal,” Mangled play a similar style to death/thrashers Ghoul, with a little Dismember thrown in for good measure. Involuntary Organ Donor is a short affair, with only 3 tracks, one of which is instrumental, but the impact is immediate. With the eerie creaking door sound effect and retro, evil-sounding chord progression on “They’re Not Gonna Stay Down There Anymore,” it’s made pretty evident that Mangled are horror fans. The riffs throughout the EP ride the fence between death and thrash metal, though the low-end on their tone tilts the band a bit more in the death metal direction. There are two vocals trading off throughout each track, with higher-pitched growls mixed with deep, guttural death growls, which again places this band firmly in the death metal arena. Despite the brutal tone, this EP manages to have a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor, and celebrates all things macabre while paying homage to old-school death metal and thrash.
The production is atmospheric where it needs to be, giving the songs a horror movie soundtrack vibe, but then is also in your face for the heavier riffs as well. If you’re a fan of what Ghoul does, Mangled have a similar vibe, though a little less heavy-handed with the crossover influences, opting for a more death metal-oriented sound.
Six Reasons To Kill – Rote Erde
Location: Koblenz, Germany
Label: Bastardized Recordings
Germany’s Six Reasons To Kill are no strangers to the global metalcore scene, having formed back in 1999. The band has released a handful of full-length albums since its inception, and are continuing the steady stream of music with this year’s Rote Erde 7” EP.
Rote Erde only has two songs, but they’re pretty solid, one being the title track and the other a pretty excellent cover of Dismember’s “Of Fire.” Six Reasons To Kill mix melody and brutality pretty seamlessly, with jagged, pummeling riffs that show the band’s hardcore influences, mixed with melodic lead guitars soaring in the mix. I’m reminded somewhat of Heaven Shall Burn, a similarly melodic death metal/hardcore hybrid. There isn’t really a breakdown to speak of on “Rote Erde,” which is a big plus in my book. The fact that “Of Fire” compliments the title track so well, sonically speaking, shows how much the band owes their sound to the melodic death metal scene. With a strong production and tight musicianship, Rote Erde is an indispensable metalcore release from Six Reasons To Kill.
Dperd – V
Label: My Kingdom Music
Forgive my ignorance, but prior to listening to V I had no idea that there is a genre called dark wave. Described as melancholic dark rock, I stepped into the world of Dperd with an open mind and zero expectations. My naivety was not punished.
While the album is identified as dark wave, I think chill wave would be more suitable title. For most of the album there is a distinct feeling of calm and relaxation. Light percussion patters like rain against a window, the bass thrums with warmth, and the vocals wind out with impeccable smoothness. Occasionally, Dperd break the mould with sections that could belong in Pure Reason Revolution’s The Dark Third with random outbursts of fast tempo and high energy.
I’m not sure where the melancholic part comes in to the music as the tone is mostly upbeat or relaxed. The melancholy may be in the lyrical content, but my ignorance gets the best of me again as the lyrics are entirely in Italian. While it is certainly not the case for everyone, not being able to understand the lyrics adds to the even flow of the music, practically by turning the vocals into an instrument.
Dperd know what they want to accomplish and they do just that. V is not for those looking for pulse-pounding, mind-blowing action; it is for those looking to ponder life in a big comfy chair or have a track to drift off to sleep to. The album is not for everyone, but it will satisfy the intended audience and those looking for something different. Still though, chill wave, it could be the next big thing.