June 30th 2015 – Sargant House
02. Reptilian Soul
03. Sweet Ivy
04. 1000 Mile Stare
07. Dead Dreams
08. Soft Spot In My Skull
‘Super group’ is a term that generally strikes fear into my heart. Usually an excuse for some washed up musicians to pen some tracks that either don’t appeal to fans of their main bands, or so they can hang out with their bros and sink some beers, it’s usually more about massaging one’s ego until it just flops into a multi-band circle jerk.
Thankfully this isn’t the case with Mutoid Man, a trio formed from members of Converge and Cave In. These guys have sidelined the self-indulgence and completely done away with any kind of superfluousness, leaving you with the very core of raucous rock ‘n’ roll. From the 2013 EP Helium Head – a release so unfathomably fast and loud that you’re pretty sure it’d make Motorhead seem like Kings Of Leon - we arrive at Bleeder, their debut full length,carries on down this path nicely.
Opening track “Bridgeburner” is a bass driven masterclass in galloping noise rock. Ben Koller’s command of his kit feel like an airstrike: loud, calculated and destructive. This is straight up rock, but it’s classless and filthy and it’s fucking excellent. “Reptilian Soul” follows suit with this belligerent assault, whilst adding in a bluesy hue, massaging in some textures that feel notably warmer.
Things take a thrashy turn with “1000 Mile Stare“; guitars shred through riff after blinding riff before descending into a Slayer-esque assault on the senses. It’s over in less than two and a half minutes, but you’re guaranteed to find yourself checking that your face is still attached to your skull, and not melted over your shoes.
Whilst “Soft Spot In My Skull” retains the album’s attitude and pace, it’s stylistically different – so much so that its mathy elements feel dangerous and violent. This is also the case in “Deadlock” this mathy barrage is needed to keep the fire burning hard. But as with all fires, they start to die down, and the album’s smoky embers are to be found in the closing title track. A hazy ovation to the previous thirty minutes of unrelenting aggression, “Bleeder” is a last stand for Stephen Brodsky, who has given it his all throughout: from shattering pitch screams down to a stoner drawl, the man is a powerhouse of a vocalist.
Bleeder is a celebration of everything we enjoy about the more aggressive fringes of our beloved heavy metal. It’s a crucible of prog, math, death, and thrash, with tantalising trickles of doom. This contorted musical ejaculation is marvellous and sticky, but also brash and abrasive, so for the love of Christ don’t get it in your eyes – but do remember the tissues.