Released: 2015, Metal Blade Records
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
After the demise of longstanding Swedish death metal horde Vomitory in 2013, it didn't take long for vocalist/bassist Erik Rundqvist and drummer Tobias Gustafsson (ex- also of God Among Insects, Torture Division, The Project Hate MCMXCIX, etc.) to get things rolling again. They recruited guitarist Anders Bertilsson and guitarist/vocalist Andreas Björnson, and were back as Cut Up a year later.
With a new deal on Vomitory's old label Metal Blade, Cut Up unleashes a debut that effectively captures the urgency with which the band came together – as well as the affinity for sick fuckery that was a hallmark of the latter band for more than 20 years. The morgue table piled with body parts that graces the cover leaves little to the imagination, as do titles like “A Butchery Improved,” “Camouflesh,” “Order of the Chainsaw” or “Stab and Stab Again.”
Cut Up don't stray too terribly far from Vomitory's old-school death metal stylings, but deliver it with a groove and gusto that gives it newfound life and crunch. “Enter Hell” kicks things in a hail of thick, buzzsawing riffs, jaw-busting hooks and piercing leads and it's away we go from there. For a new band – albeit it one with a long and solid pedigree – Cut Up are lock-step tight and viciously effective here, and match that with efficient, well-crafted songs.
The avalanche of riffs that power “Brain Cell Holocaust” are complemented by the brisk d-beat/blast beat pace of “Enter Hell,” “Burial Time” or the bruising title track. The more deliberate heaving chug of “Remember The Flesh” echoes Obituary - something that comes and goes throughout - with a hint of Slayer in its brief “South of Heaven”-like guitar interplay.
Though Rundqvist and Björnson share vocal duties here, it's tough to tell who is whom as there is little notable difference in their throaty growls, which isn't the worst thing in the world – at least they forgo the temptation to either dabble in clean singing or go the crass puking route for contrast. The material is brutal enough as it is, so there's no need to go overboard - or worse, try to pretty it up.
Forensic Nightmares does lose some steam toward the end, but when it's on - as it is most of the way through - it's spot on. Cut Up actually breathe some new life into an old school sound so many others seem merely content to mimic. And though we're talking a matter of degrees, every little bit helps.