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.