After issuing a pair of independent EPs that I would imagine are pretty tough to find, Colombian up-and-comers Gutgrinder unleash their debut full-length via Hateworks, which should ensure some greater visibility. And with an affinity for Latin song titles, and a sound that blends Morbid Angel-style grace with snub-nosed, Vader-like intensity, the Cali-based trio prove themselves worthy of being heard with A Prophecy of Sacrilege.
The album, which includes remakes of “Rise of Vicious Instincts” and “Morbus Sanctus Flagellum” from their 2015 EP and 10 new tracks, proves itself smarter and far less crude than the band’s “brutal death metal” moniker might indicate. Although Sacrilege does get off to a gnarly start with “Pile of Rotten Limbs,” Gutgrinder seem to have all but grown beyond the notably more crass fare of their 2013 EP Lustland, which offered such ditties as “Legless,” “The Human Centipede” and “The Fat Grinder.”
Indeed, the album boasts something of a thematic thread as it tells the tale of of two bastard brothers, born of incest, which is certainly twisted subject matter but something with some obvious thought and conviction behind it. But Sacrilege in no way comes across as a “concept” album as the band doles out its dozen songs in brisk, bruising bursts topped by bassist David Medina’s burly growl with an urgency that leaves no time for filler, interludes or fluff.
Gutgrinder are all business here and mix their technical acuity and penchant brutality with the skill of a far more veteran, or at least seasoned, band. Luis Cuartas’ riffs are sleek and savage riffs as they weave themselves around Medina and Saul Muriel’s surging rhythms, giving the band’s otherwise bludgeoning sound an almost sophisticated air, especially on the comparatively epic “Sacrilegus Prophetiae” that serves as the album’s centerpiece or the otherwise face-ripping “Carnality Incarnated” or “Proditoris Venatus.”
A Prophecy of Sacrilege makes the sort of first impression that Brazilian trio Krisiun’s Conquerers of Armageddon did when it launched them onto the world stage back in 2000. Gutgrinder obviously honed their craft well in the relative obscurity of the Colombia metal scene over the past few years, and they definitely sound ready for bigger and better now.
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