Mutilated And Assimilated
Released: 2017, Century Media
Reviewer: Mr. Metalguy (Guest Reviewer)
Broken Hope. The phrase itself is evocative of deep emotions, turmoil, a loss of some form of innocence. In addition, itis representative of one of the premier names Death Metal - an institution, if you will.
Back with album two after a decade long hiatus, Broken Hope will have you both mutilated and assimilated with their intimidating and vital new offering, MUTILATED AND ASSIMILATED. It is said that absence makes the heart grow fonder and in the case of the absence of one of the best in the game insofar as Brutal Death Metal goes, without becoming slam, without drain cleaner vocals, but just with groove and riffs that hit with the ferocity of a meat hook into your pathetic frame, that sentiment is absolutely true.
How does one describe the sound of Broken Hope on their newest opus? Well, thick would be an apt description. The mastering and production here are superb, a shining example of precisely how this type of Metal should sound - meat and potatoes, stick to your (protruding) ribs, slow heavy metal music playing, head nodding, classic Florida Death Metal. You know, like Mom used to make, if Mom was Broken Hope. Mmm, that down home feeling.
Standout exercises in bludgeoning here include “Outback Incest Clan” with its oddly escalating main riff backed with pummelling drums and slinking bass lines book ended with the ever present vocal, umm, warmth, so prevalent in this style of music. It’s like a hug for your throat, pushing up from the diaphragm, phlegm and all. Next up on standouts is the ludicrously titled “Malicious Meatholes,” a 17 minute (really) song about, well, you can figure it out. You really should just listen to it, Broken Hope channeling their best Cephalic Carnage sense of atmosphere while most certainly remaining NSFW. And then we dive straight back into the unrelenting groove with mild forays into melody land. Overall, this is aural punishment of a very high, and very enjoyable, calibre. Open up and say argh.
I should probably note that I have a soft spot for Broken Hope for a few reasons, one being that GROTESQUE BLESSINGS is one of the most brilliant things ever recorded and another being that “Swamped In Gore” is the hit of the summer, every summer. That last bit is of grave importance here, because Broken Hope pay homage to themselves with “Swamped In Gorehog” and it is not cheesy, but rather a bloody and carnage filled affair worthy of their history. Oh, and my good friend filled in for vocals on their 2012 tour. All hail Chuck (go listen to Psychotic Gardening and Eyam and Serrated Scalpel).
MUTILATED AND ASSIMILATED is a challenging listen especially considering there are some very, very long tracks here for a genre known for being mostly concise and to the point but also because the whole exercise can be a little draining at times, like being pushed against the stage by the crowd and not having a way out. It is exhilarating, affirming, and quite enjoyable. Sure to be a slow burn and grower of an album, Broken Hope should be proud, because they keep hope alive.