Gutter Instinct spawned from the sewers of Helsingborg, Sweden. Following their debut EP ‘The Insurrection’, this new full length draws influence from bands such as Teitanblood, Bölzer, Grave Miasma, Black Witchery, and Portal fusing old school raw energy with new school tricks. Prior to releasing Age of The Fanatics, Gutter Instinct played live with Sadism, Chronus, and Oberion. As icing on the cake, the album concept was illustrated by Dávid Glomba (Teitan Arts) who has previously worked with bands such as Cult Of Fire, Svartidauði, and Inferno. Time to cut loose and do some serious damage to my spinal cord.
This band does not f@#k around. After a brief intro of crackling flames, "Leper Beholder" lunges forth like some unearthly, four-legged beast. The guitars, drums, and bass all seem to contort into one singular entity; charging, clawing, and lurching through the composition. Gutter Instinct do the whole straight-forward crusty DM well enough, but the odd starting and stopping of this primal machine adds an extra layer of disarming savagery. Oh, that doesn't hurt enough? Let me help out you with that.
And we're only just getting started. The next 3 tracks are some of the grimiest, catchiest, and heaviest old school death metal tracks I have heard in some time. "Age of the Fanatics" drops some insanely raw blastbeats before settling into a bit of groove with an absolutely brutal tremolo hook. My god, the violence. And when they do the whole "duh duh DUH, duh duh DUH!" riff with the breaks my skull simply shatters from my brain exploding from within. Those vocals. They come from a very real place.
Yes, Thomas is an undeniable monster. Throughout the course of this album he proceeds to echo deep growls and lacerating shrieks into infinity. Thanks to him, Gutter Instinct will be the first thing any extraterrestrial life will hear from planet Earth. And dammit, they are going to bang their heads too. The way his performance gels so perfectly with the constantly shifting rumble of the bass and malevolent guitar riffs is stunning. Whether pummeling on for 5 minutes or ripping through just 1 ("No Place for the Cross"), this band knows how to get the job done.
Age of The Fanatics does finally end up taking a bit of break for some slower tunes as well, building an ominous bit of tension before resuming their default speed of 11. Tracks like "Bridge of Broken Bones" have a wonderful old graveyard vibe to them; further adding to the nostalgia amidst some of the more modern flourishes. Really, there seems to be nothing Gutter Instinct can do wrong. If we are basing a rating on enjoyment alone, this could easily rate a 10. It is certainly my favorite straight death metal release so far of 2016. Give it a gander. Just don't get too close.
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