It seems like there’s been a resurgence lately of traditional blood n’ guts death metal. Not that the genre ever went away (perish the thought), but as fads and flavors of the week tend to get most of the press, it’s easy to forget about the stalwarts that continue to toe the line but who do what they do really friggin’ well. This year so far we’ve seen some quality releases from bands like Scalpel, Exhumer, and Soul Remnants to name a few, not to mention a breadth of splits, singles, and reissues, all of which seem like they’ve received more attention now than the scene has in a hot second. Closing out the year is yet another contender for consideration, New Jersey’s Mortal Decay and their kinda sorta comeback album, THE BLUEPRINT FOR BLOOD SPATTER.
While Mortal Decay hasn’t labeled THE BLUEPRINT FOR BLOOD SPATTER as a comeback record, it’s been 8 solid years since we’ve heard anything from the Jersey quartet. Apparently that hiatus was put to good use, as this new disc is their finest hour yet. The band has always had panache for writing brutal and gnarly death metal, but THE BLUEPRINT FOR BLOOD SPATTER is a step or two above anything they’ve released prior. The songs are meaner, the riffs are more complex, the production is glorious, and new vocalist Danny Nelson is a razor throated behemoth. There’s also an injection of jazz/progressive inclinations this time around that provides some aural levity between the head bashings (“Nocuous Compulsions” is a great start), but don’t be at all misled – this ain’t a Cynic record. The band really hits the sweet spots on tracks like “Ocular Haze” and “Jugular Gurgle”, effortlessly combining Dying Fetus-esque death groove with off key twin harmonies and Corpse worthy riff gymnastics. However, “Altruistic Masochism” was the standout cut for me, combining all of the above with some trad metal dynamics and some more elaborate lead work.
Most of the album’s 9 tracks clock in at around 3 minutes, so the album breezes by pretty quickly and doesn’t overstay its welcome (get in, punch you in the face a few times, get the f@#k out). But it’s a predominantly solid ride from start to finish and lends itself some easy replays. Does Mortal Decay do anything particularly ground breaking or game changing? Not by a long shot. Do they grind some seriously hostile death metal? Hells to the yes they do. If you fancy your death metal with zero pleasantries, but with plenty of gurgle and bile, check out THE BLUEPRINT FOR BLOODSPATTER.
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