Scripts of Anguish by Mutilated By Zombies

AHHH!!!! Finally, every horror fan’s fantasy.. to be mutilated by zombies. Oh, is that just me? Anyway… Death Comes Lifting loves musical diversity, if that wasn’t made clear by this point in our reviewing. We love different genres from different regions of the world and exploring the deepest recesses of the plethora of somewhat pretentious sub-genres that have been spewed from the ever hellish mouths of heavy metal and punk rock. From atmospheric melodic black metal lurking in the Scandinavian permafrosts to the symphonic technical death metal triumphing across the Mediterranean sands, to the filthy and unapologetic punk scene roaring its way across America entwined with the revival of 70’s latent fuzzy doom and occult rock, whatever hipster nonsense floats its way into our crypt from all over the globe.. that shit is getting cranked to 11. We’re all for one and one for all here as long as the music has purpose, passion, and genuineness attached to it. Personally speaking I can’t get enough of the wonderful independent bands doing their thing despite the sour taste of the music industry and economy out there right now, there’s more amazing bands independent than ever before, it seems. And my mission here is to bring all those important artists to light because they don’t get near the recognition or credit most of them deserve. Mad respect. THAT ALL BEING SAID… here’s another old school death metal record review!!! Because some shit you just cant get enough of.

Being as I am absolutely no stranger to the death metal spice of music, and the review and favorite record list has more death metal records on it than there is a waiting list for a vital organ transplant (Yet another good band name. Write that down.), I still feel it is of the utmost importance to review any independent old school sounding death metal band that is doing anything worth listening to because the world just needs to know about it. One negative aspect of the market being so highly saturated with an abundance of excellent extreme metal bands is that to be recognized and highly regarded, you have to be pretty fucking excellent. To get one’s attention (unfortunately), once again, not only do you have to be pretty fucking excellent; but the name, album art, social media, whatever it may be.. has to stand out. Mutilated By Zombies. That stands out. Even if I wasn’t a rabid extreme metal fan / review viscously scouring the record stores and internet for new bands and new content (I am), Mutilated by Zombies would’ve reached its decomposing claw through my driver’s side window, ripping my trachea from my throat, splattering blood and bodily fluids through my vehicle’s interior as my life slips away and I spiral down the grim-weathered highway as I’m on my way to pick up the new Behemoth record (Yawn). Yeah, so, my point being its easy for a record like this to slide under the radar in the current state of the death metal market and its up to the bands themselves, promoters, managers, record stores, websites, and good ‘ol nerds like me to make sure that doesn’t happen. Backed by a great record label, Redefining Darkness, and a band name that just compels the listener to check out the record, Scripts of Anguish by Mutilated By Zombies is a masterclass in death metal.

I know… I know.. every old school death metal record that comes out these days is awesome according to you!! Not true. Well, somewhat true. If you have the balls and the passion on ya to resurface material from the death metal greats and present it in such a way that it is your own artistic vision and you demonstrate genuine musicianship and creativity through brutally constructed pieces of music… what’s there to complain about? Certainly there are differences in quality among these bands but stacked up against any rock/metal in the regurgitated mainstream? There’s no comparison. I’m spinning these records all day against them. Now, when a band called MUTILATED BY ZOMBIES, a death metal band from IOWA, comes across my desk… Ill be goddamned if I’m not fully intrigued. And ill also be goddamned if I was disappointed in the slightest.

Scripts of Anguish opens with a blistering traditional, sharp, no-frills, death metal in the form of Decayed Manifestation. Fitting. They immediately hit you right in the skull with evil crashes and rattles of cymbals and the ever-present and lurking bass notes, and hurl you into an everlasting grave of crushing death metal. Complete with some unexpected tempo and vocal range shifts and head whirl - inducing licks via Ibanez; Mutilated By Zombies emulate their name as it feels like perfect music to be mutilated by zombies to. Speaking of which, I think they nailed it with that name. When you hear it, it could be any type of death metal (or any type of metal for that matter, really) so it begs for you to check it out. I for one was pleasantly surprised beyond belief with their sound as I wrongfully assumed they’d be just another “slam” band.. should’ve known better. They certainly do not do much to change the direction of the death metal tide, but they stay true to their old school death metal roots while flirting with some progressive or technical death metal mistresses. As the album trudges on I’m getting the vibe that this Iowan undead army are not messing around and they sound like, well, an undead army. There’s not much room in their mostly under 4-minute tracks for an soloing or experimentation it is very much one forceful, horrifying track after another and definitely does not overstay its welcome. They are zombies, not vampires, after all. They’ll take a bite or 3… and on to the next one. In fact, the only reprieve the listeners receives from the opening notes on is the melodic introduction of the fourth track, Binge and Purge, which features some haunting guitar that not only adds depth and value to the record, but ends up sounding even more interesting when destroyed by their signature sound. Hurling into a blood-splatted tyranny of double bass, crazed transitions, and an ever impressive vocal AND guitar performance by Josh DeMuth.. these tunes just aren’t getting old. Every instrument has their place to shine and they are played in such a way that is (semi) easy to articulate, which certainly has its place and value in death metal. It does NOT sound like just a bunch of heavy, ripping, chaotic noise… not that there’s a whole lot wrong with that.. BUT that his simply not the style of Mutilated By Zombies. And that works in their favor, in my humble opinion. The lyrical content is not only badass and reminiscent of old-school “horror story” death metal, but they are pretty easily decipherable without being clean. The bass doesn’t get lost for a damned second, which is admirable. The drums are the driving force of most great death metal bands, and this is not exception. As well as the guitar that can effortlessly switch from shredding to groovy to brutal to even sludge at times. Mutilated By Zombies prove to be a super impressive death metal trio that translates very well on record. They let their Morbid Angel, Immolation, and even Obituary influences shine on songs like Instructions for Death; and remind me more of Cryptopsy on titles like Gored. I find myself totally digging their fearless, for-your-juggular-and-brains type attitude, that most music is unfortunately void of.

Sure, at times the record can get a tad redundant, but just like a zombie movie.. there’s gonna be a few regurgitated guts here or there. Par for the course… just be sure you make to the finale because Rise to Enslave is my absolute favorite track on the record. Every piece of the band sounds as if they are transitioning into werewolf territory rather than zombies with the crashing technicality and sheer brutality of this song, but that’s more than acceptable. Its a blistering exercise in death metal with a huge amount of dynamic range and a catchy “chorus” that will be on the Death Comes Lifting gym playlist for… probably ever. Deal with it. The production is about as good as you would expect an independent death metal record to be, which I think serves the record right as most overproduced death metal sounds less than interesting. At the end of the day, Mutilated By Zombies is a delightful throwback to good ‘ol gore - soaked death metal, and that’s absolutely nothing to complain about… and absolutely worth checking out.

Rating: 4/5

Gym Rating: 5/5

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