Wednesday, 21 March 2012

GUTTED - Bleed For Us To Live (1994)

01  Bleed
02  Sins of God
03  Nailed to the Cross
04  Cold in the Coffin
05  Chopped up at the Altar
06  Death Before Dismember
07  Chock Full of Guts
08  Skeletonized
09  Kickin' the Corpse
10  Flood of Blood

This is hands down, my favourite death metal record ever. Honestly. It simply has to be heard to be believed. It has everything you could possibly want from an extreme metal record, whilst sounding fresh, fun, yet nasty and mean without sounding dated or too cheesy. It's just one of those albums where you can tell, just from looking at the cover art, that it means business and will tear your ears off. Gutted was formed in Toledo, Ohio, in the early 90s. The three Ditch's (Mike, Mark and Scott) are all brothers. They were joined by Billy Mills on guitar in 1994 and went on to release a less spectacular self-titled follow-up in 1997 before calling it a day.

"Bleed For Us To Live" was released in 1994 by Red Light Records and went completely under the radar. That being said, death metal was on it's way back undergound by this point, after its somewhat brief flirtation with MTV, mainstream sales and then the dropping of many big time players from labels like Roadrunner. If this album had come out say, two years earlier, then it would have probably attained legendary status within the metal world. Unfortunately it didn't, therefore it is now a rare, unholy gem waiting to be unearthed by rabid music fans desperate to find the ultimate fix of aural brutality.

I love the way Gutted composed their songs, with so many great ideas, many hooks, quality stuff and no fillers. All that has created an amazing album, which I would never consider dull at any point. I could listen to it and listen forever, without any signs of boredom. The album has a super strong second half opposed to it’s first half, which isn’t bad. The solos, when they are there, are good and definitely don’t get in the way. The guitar sound is perfect to my ears. Everything seems very well balanced in the mix. The bass and vocals (similar to Massacre's Kam Lee), though must be singled out.....They are monstrous! They fit together so well in a rattling, guttural harmony that really raises the material on this record to ridiculous levels.

With this comes a self-indulgent humor that lusts for laughs with the grotesque, finding in its relish of the repugnant, a delight for life itself. Of course, what I'm talking about is song titles such as; "Flood Of Blood", "Kickin' The Corpse" and "Chock Full Of Guts". I cannot recommend this album enough, it is a must buy if you can get your hands on it. There has been a re-release (2007) and it also goes for big bucks when it does pop up online. But hell, it's worth every penny...

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