Think back to the last extreme metal album you heard which blew your mind. Was it Exhumation’s “Consider This”? There’s been a bit of a struggle involved (as is the case with all underground metal bands), but Gutslit have finally managed to pitch the Indian death metal flag high (probably through someone’s cadaver, knowing their preferences) with “Skewered In the Sewer.”
Barring the scene-setting intro, there are eight tracks on this album that just pummel the brain. It’s an endless barrage of blastbeats (Aaron Pinto), bass grooves (Gurdip Singh Narang) and shred-tastic guitars (Dynell Bangera) set to the scene’s most underrated vocalist, Aditya Barve. You can just imagine limbs flailing endlessly, heads dipping in and out to this dangerous mashup of death metal, brutal grind and slam. You can hear it on Pustulated Phallic Enthralment and Offal Barter, the first two tracks. The sound will satisfy fans of Cannibal Corpse as well as of Despised Icon.
Now, I’m a fan of CDs, and I happened to pick one up from Narang. The artwork of degenerated beings on a skewer, surrounded by a putrid mess is a perfect match for the music thematically. I’m just glad it wasn’t in colour. And as you flip through the lyrics, you can’t help but just feel frustrated, because you just can’t keep up with Barve’s (and on Circumcised with a Chainsaw, Indian American growler Mallika Sundaramurthy from Abnormality) enunciated, guttural growls and squeals. Unless you’ve been tuning into enough grind in your time, you’re going to have a tough time hearing even 30% of the lyrics for each song.
Speaking of keeping up, good luck with the rest of the instruments as well! Pinto plays at inhumane speeds, almost perfectly, although we are told Hamza Kazi (Coshish, Workshop) helped program the drums on the album. If you’ve got a restless leg syndrome, it’s one reason to listen to this album, and feed your disorder. Narang on bass does his own share of tapping, a rarity in death grind, and Bangera is way too sharp with the riffs that you can only air-guitar to the palm-muting during the breakdowns (sample Pulp Face and Atrophic Cranial Disintegration).
No one else in Indian extreme metal will be able to touch Gutslit for a while now, because this album is fast and unsparing. It’s what you want every metal album to do – to envelope you in the sheer madness of beats and riffs so harsh that you’d feel like this is the most pissed-off, horrific band in action. If you’re a fan of metal that’s never delved into the extreme, Gutslit is your band. And if you know your death metal and grind, this will a release to cherish for quite some time.
(Buy Skewered in the Sewer on Bajaao or on Transcending Obscurity)
- Catch Gutslist perform at their album launch gig at Bombay Asylum Vol II feat Reptilian Death and an opening band at Club Escape on August 8, 2013, 9 pm onwards. RSVP here.