(Fat Togue records)

MARK: 76/100


Dried up by 3 weeks of heat and humidity comparable only to those of a Libyan desert, I tried at least to refresh my soul with a heavy dose of Metal and Hard rock coming from a new band which does not only deal with Death metal as the monicker and the artwork make you believe. And I had success with the choice. The debut MCD from these 5 Bostonians is not so easy to describe, although one does not have to expect antics or devilries alà Mr. Bungle or John Zorn. There is Death, there is Grind, but there're also Blues, Stoner, Classic metal and much more.

Opener "Smoking Man" is Groovy metal with guttural vocal retches; the guitars are generous, especially thanks to the interesting central break and the adjoined guitar solo, whereas "Some Friend" is a pure frontal assault with some stop 'n' goes; basically this song is constituted by Thrash riffs, but then you meet an unexpected closure on the trail of Neurosis/Isis with vocals closer to Suffocation or Malevolent Creation, and soon afterwards a slow, deep and hard Hard rock axe solo.
Stoner and Death metal infused with a Blues solo appear in "Promise", and as if it weren't enough the 5 beasts add 2 D.R.I. tradition neckbreaking, criminally insane Metalcore outbursts to the Tai Chi metal vocals here used. Along with the first and the last track, this one is the other a cut above to recommend first listeners of the act.
Remarkable is the drummer's performance above all in "Trapped, Entwined": he comes out catchy, rocky and indestructible at the same time glued to the faithful bass lines, both always ready to determine the game rules and its repentine changes. A further mention to the cool barking back-up vocals that make this song devoid of faults, broken by the semi-acoustic arpeggio at the beginning of "The Butcher (Knee Deep in Blood)", a structure reminding of Down, while the following part has definitely taken a cue from the Metallica of "Ride the Lightning" and "Master of Puppets"; the track changes again and steers back to the brutal style typical of the Bostonian band for the remaining 4 minutes, steadily based on a Thrash metal riff. The final guitar solo stands above the average and it's a shame the dirty production doesn't make justice to it.

Instead of blasts and piercing screams, Gut use different methods to rise the climax and rarely sound messed up. The best thing to do in sight of the next compositions is to keep on mind that a second guitar offers more possibilities other than guitar solos (which are good any way and well-performed here as well in the live song "The Chopping Block", not available on this EP). Big Metal bands with two excellent guitarists such as early Metallica or early Paradise Lost to name the first on my mind understood this from the start and coupled different contemporary guitar phrases with twin guitars parts and solos and the songs turned out to be killer. Easy to say, hard to do, but the results are worth the effort.

MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - 20th August 2006

Line-up on this record:
Jeremy, lead g.
Geoff, rhythm g.
Mike, d.
Mark, b.
Brian, v.

1011 Centre St., Boston, MA 02130 - USA
Tel: +1 617 512 5607
Official site:

Shrubbery (MCD - 2004)