Released: 2014, Sevared Records
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
As I leaf through the promos I've got sitting in iTunes on my laptop, I see an Aborted Fetus, Prostitute Disfigurement, just plain old Disfigurement, Dismemberment, Embryonic Devourment, Ingested, In Utero Cannibalism, Inbreeding Rednecks and Poland's delicious Ass To Mouth. So for anyone looking to be sick and outrageous these days, there's plenty of competition clamoring to horrify and/or offend.
With their third full length, Dissect, Molest, Ingest, English brutal death metallers Amputated actually seem to be toning things down just a notch, if you can believe that. But the band set the bar pretty high – or low, depending on your point of view – with their debut, Gargling With Infected Semen, so by comparison Dissect seems almost genteel. Or at least less cartoonish and absurd.
That said, there's still loads of over-the-top brutality and story lines that will tickle your gag reflex here - “Toolbox Abortionist,” “When Whores Meet Saws” and “Skullfuck Lobotomy” being the most obvious. And, of course, there's the garish human butcher shop cover art that is resplendent with body parts and shows these guys still have a healthy appetite for the Grand Guignol.
But after overhauling their lineup since 2009's Wading Through Rancid Offal, with founding vocalist Mark Pearce and guitarist Ollie Jones bowing out and three new members joining the fold, Amputated sound bigger and better than ever – just not quite as bad, if you know what I mean.
Mirroring the like-minded Exhumed or Impaled, the band are certainly more musically proficient here, with craftier compositions and razor-sharp performances making for a wickedly tight and vicious album. The quick-cut riffing and rapid-fire tempos of the title track and “Six Feet Deep” come close to matching the technical brashness of more recent Cannibal Corpse.
New guy Mark Gleed's gurgle/growl/scream vocals ensure the edges stay just rough enough, however. And fellow new addition Harry Jewell's surging, finger-pop bass lines keep things loose, lively and lethal – especially when played again Gareth Arlett's mechanized, hyperspeed drumming.
Amputated sound much more like a professional band here, and a lot less like just another a sick joke. Dissect is brutal yet cunningly catchy, distasteful without being utterly dismissible and a rather satisfying listen for anyone who's into this sort of stuff and yearns for something other than the usual death spew.