Nothing excites me more than when I come across a nice and short collection of skull-crushing brutality. Although vocals as incomprehensible as what is present on the debut demo by Gutless don’t typically appeal to me, what’s here is incredible. Titled Mass Extinction, these Australian death metalheads do an incredible job at giving the perfect amount of disgustingly strong riffs with a delivery that made me want a copy upon hearing the first guitar chug.
Indeed, tone is one of the biggest factors here. The quality definitely creates an adhesive that’s just enough to blend this harsh delivery with a strong sense of rhythm. Thus, “Evil Incarnate” showcases the band’s brilliant ability to weave speedy rhythms with thunderous blast beats and deeply growled vocals, all while even slipping in a nice solo. Even through the noisy wall of sound you’re able to pick up on all of this. “Boiled Alive” is similar in the sense that it crams in pinch harmonics to create moments that break the surface a bit more.
Moreover, “Boiled Alive” also includes some of the grooviest riffs I’ve ever heard in this brand of death metal, namely near the end of the track. No, there aren’t any tones that resemble Pantera, but the beat and patterns themselves allow this to be a highlight. I’m not going to go as far as saying that everything in Mass Extinction has an identity of its own, because there is a clear formula that this works off of. The trick is the small things that you pick up after repeat listens, which is highly recommended for short discs such as this one, clocking in only at about eighteen minutes.
For those who need to take in such tough pills in small doses like myself, look no further. If it were a full length, this format would get old very quick. However, since it isn’t, there’s no need for cleanliness, and a straightforward release is what you’re in for. Those who dig Decrepit Birth, Suffocation, and the likes should seek this out as soon as possible!