Saturday 28 October 2017

REVIEW: Dutchguts / Chained to the Dead – Split [EP]

By: Mark Ambrose

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 01/09/2017
Label: Horror Pain Gore Death Productions

“Dutchguts / Chained to the Dead” Split CD//DD track listing

1). Dutchguts – “Bad Batch”
2). Dutchguts – “Happy Trails to Hell”
3). Dutchguts – “Snake Piss”
4). Chained to the Dead – “The Ballad of the Melting Hobos”
5). Chained to the Dead – “The Ones That Walk Away”
6). Chained to the Dead – “Beast from the East”

The Review

While I love the complex shit out there – the prog-influenced, hyper-hyphenate blackened genre mixers – a powerful double dose of filth can be just as transcendent as “challenging” grand statement albums.  Case in point: the split EP by sludge punkers Dutchguts and death maniacs Chained to the Dead.  Dutchguts slam out a trio of tunes that serve as the perfect soundtrack to a night of bad decisions that get this, actually packs some bluesy menace into those fuzzy tones.  Sure they recall Eyehategod and Motorhead but they also could be a gone to seed ZZ Top (that good, early shit) jamming on Black Sabbath.  They play headbanging riff songs, with scattered shout along choruses, until the raucous doomy closer, “Snake Piss”.  Slowing to an absolute crawl, the dual guitars of Gonzalez and Galarraga are all swagger and snarl, while the rhythm section of Rivas and Cerri easily shifts between hardcore aggression and swinging bar band rock.  I want a whole slab of this stuff, though I worry my liver may not take it.

Chained to the Dead, meanwhile, serve up some rotten-to-the-bone, meat and potatoes death metal.  You know you’re dealing with true splatter fetishists when your song opens with a Street Trash sample that actually serves the putrid subject matter.  Guitarist Stephen Rasczyk goes real old school with his riffing: no squealing, chaotic leads, just memorable hooks that make you want to get in the mosh and bleed all over someone.  John-Paul Dal Pan is well-served in the production, as his hefty bass tone is stomach turning on “Beast from the East”.  Ott, meanwhile, is an enviable metal drummer, whose brutality and proficiency are matched by his restraint – never overplaying but never boring.  Vocalist Rocco Martone may have one of the most violent cadences in death metal.  Each syllable sounds like he’s rasping out a liter of blood and clotted guts, which goes perfectly with the overall horror aesthetic.  Most importantly, like all the other elements of the group, he makes a simple style, free of effects or acrobatics, wholly his own.  Each of Chained to the Dead’s three cuts is memorable as an infected scar – you’ll keep returning to these wounds despite your revulsion, and even come to perversely enjoy your self-mortification.

“Dutchguts / Chained to the Dead” is available here