Mutilation Case - Mutilation Case

Little is known about Hungarian duo Mutilation Case that sprouted up in 2023 and quickly got their debut up and running. Headed by the ‘riff master’ N and vocalist Jim Jones (not of Jonestown fame), these two deliver a rather eclectic set of Old School Death Metal with some new and modern twists to keep it from being ‘just a run of the mill’ effort. On one hand they sound like a mix of Necrot meets newer Bloodbath and then at other times they pull out the quirky and random sometimes like Dodheimsgard or even some hypnotic work like that from “Ordo ad Chao.” Whatever influences work their way into Mutilation Case’s self titled effort, listeners can be sure it will have plenty of surprises.

Starting off with the first interlude ‘I,’ the gothic/ symphonic keyboard plinks set listeners up for a foreboding beginning that leaves one in suspense for when the Death Metal parts come in. ‘Erdő’ kicks things into gear with plenty of fuzzy riffs and plodding drums that mix up the mid paced and fast that are right at home in the Necrot and Bloodbath department. The vocals are guttural but discernible, and this is pretty much the only ‘straighforward Old School Death Metal track’ on the album. After this, it is a bit of a rollercoaster. The track lengths pick up more, and on a track like ‘Beléndek’ is where the Avant-garde stuff starts to come in. The tracks is fast, and then suddenly the almost saxophone like samples come in with the spoken word parts and then the riffs slow down to more of a Dismember lumbering pace with almost Doom laden guitar solos backed by keyboards. For a truly near My Dying Bride experience, check out ‘Bádog szemfedél’ with its funeral style keyboards and zombie knuckle dragging pace. Much less raucous and energetic than some of the previous tracks, but the grime and atmosphere is excellent. N showcases his ability to create the symphonic harrowing side of Death Metal and Jim Jones’ vocals are more ‘dripping’ and twisted, bordering a style that mixed Khold and Mayhem together. And of course- when that sax jumps in- it just makes things all the more interesting.

Some might argue that Mutilation Case rely more on the ‘interesting’ side to bulk their album as opposed to just cranking out old fashion raucous Death Metal like Necrot does, and while this album does have its fast and rowdy moments, it is the slower, quieter parts that draw more attention. The other interludes are very similar to the first in their keyboard style to help break up the heavier tracks, and sometimes these can stretch on for almost 8 minutes so after such a hefty dosage, a minute reprieve is sometimes needed. Purists might sneer at the Haunted Mansion style keyboards, but those who like a mix of genres will appreciate the dance between Death Metal and Doom, much like bands such as Monumentum Damnati. Some parts of the tracks such as the random guitar/ bass notes or electronics on ‘Badog…’ or the laughing/ talking girl before the clean Alcest style vocals on ‘Aprószentek’ seem a bit out of place, but have to give the band credit for their attempt to keep things interesting. The longer slower tracks do tend to repeat riffs here and there in regular Doom fashion, so these random bits might help keep listeners awake.

The album is not perfect, but for a debut, “Mutilation Case” deserves a lot of credit for stepping outside the norm and not playing things safe. They lean more towards the harmonic most of the time versus the brutal, but these two seem more intent on trying to deliver something that is outside the normal box. Some might argue they are not the ‘True Hungarian Dadastic Death Metal’ they claim to be, especially considering the close on a rather soft note rather than hard, but it goes to show that well crafted Death Metal these days takes more than blast beats and catchy riffs and ear crunching growls to make a lasting impact. There is so much going on here that like a good movie with Easter eggs, listeners will probably definitely want to give “Mutilation Case” a few more spins after the first time just to hear what they might have missed out on. There are no real snoozers on this one, so make sure one pays attention while listening to what this Hungarian Death Metal has to say.

4 / 5 STARS

1. I
2. Erdő
3. Beléndek
4. Bádog szemfedél
5. II
6. Sorvadó
7. Asszonyember
8. Aprószentek
9. III