First of all, the production, done by Jeremy Wagner himself. The sound mix is impeccable. Behind every track you can feel how important that specific sound is to the musician. Everything is balanced to the note, which allows us to understand in a second who does what and its purpose. So we get hit by the entire experience of a band who knows where it’s going. That allows us to feel how coherent everything is there. The production makes the album cohesive and works perfectly.
Now let’s talk about the writing, maybe the only real issue of the album. While looking to make “Mutilated And Assimilated” homogenous at all cost, BROKEN HOPE loses its spontaneity. While listening to it, it becomes clear that we have to rely on the interludes to understand that we’ve changed tracks. A couple of them put aside, the songs are not really memorable. However, as a whole, the album is intelligent enough to be listened again and allow us to notice the elements we missed before, and there will be some, trust me. The result is a bit more mixed that before.
When it comes to the style, the album is not a revolution in brutal death but it never was the point. The lyrics are clearly what you expect: sex, horror, death and sound exactly the way you think they do. They always leave you with the feeling of uneasiness like “he didn’t just say that, did he?” mixed with a feeling of badass transgression. It’s an expected mix of speed, double kick, blast beats (not to pervasive, so we can breathe) and a growl in the standards of American death metal. Depending on what you’re looking for, you may find it there.
If we sum everything up, what can we say? If you’re looking for a new classic, which redefines brutal death metal and that anything else bores you, don’t bother. If you want to discover the genre, go ahead, it’s perfect for you. Finally, if you’re a hardcore fan of it and that you’re looking for a solid release which oozes passion, determination and love for death metal, it’s a good fix.
Finally, what makes a record good? I still don’t know. It’s a mix of expectations, feeling and qualities inherent to each genre. At its core “Mutilated And Assimilated” is good. After a thirty years long career, the work put in by Jeremy Wagner’s band hits all the right stops without looking to redefine everything. And since objectivity has its limits, subjectively, it’s a good discovery that I do not regret listening to and that I honestly recommend. 40 generous minutes, for a band that’s not done surprising us.