Album Review

Gutted Alive; “Killing Desire”

Ahhh if there was anything that’d get me to start writing again, it could only be something as nasty as this. Our pals in Gutted Alive are about to release their third LP, Killing Desire December 13! Though the entirety of the album is new, the Gutted guys have been playing a handful of these tracks live for a while now; “Purveyor of Filth”, and “Carver of Flesh” have been out in the open for while now and I know I’ve caught you headbanging to one of those at least once now.

If you love what you’ve heard off of Culmination of Mutilation and Consumed by Carnage, spawning hits like “Necrophiliac Chainsaw Rapist”, “Headless Love Slave” and “Force Fed Acid”, Killing Desire is an amalgamation of all of the best things the two earlier albums have to offer.  Much heavier, more blastbeats, more pig squeals, more catchy riffs, and more SLAMS.


Left to right: Brandon Graves, drums; Jason Acquilano, guitars/ vocals; Ryan Michael, vocals; Adam Shampine, bass

The two aforementioned songs, “Purveyor of Filth” and “Carver of Flesh” are no doubt a couple of my favorites off the record, but “Deranged and Enraged” is very quickly growing on me. Whereas I can say I love the entire album, these three make me want to rage the most, without question.

Guitarist Jason Acquilano  (whom I interviewed earlier this year) has incorporated a smidgen more technicality in his solos and riffs, but doesn’t sacrifice an ounce of brutality.  His guitars don’t drown out Adam Shampine’s basslines, who you can still clearly hear rumbling underneath Jason’s chunky riffs. Could use a couple more bass solos, though.

Vocalist Ryan Michael has been nailing his low gutturals for years now, but it’s awesome to hear more of his range more frequently. I love being able to hear his highs more consistently, and his execution on all the pig squeals are dead on every single time.
Jason’s backup highs are always a solid touch, it’s never too much and it’s never not enough.

Killing Desire‘s crispness is part of the allure of this album. The quality of the production can’t be overlooked. Whereas some people would prefer a grimier, dirtier production when it comes to death metal, the polish on the mix makes the album more enjoyable. Especially when it comes to Ryan’s vocals, any dip in quality wouldn’t offer a respectable representation of what’s actually coming out of his mouth. Doug White at Watchmen Studios has outdone himself once again, forever offering the local music community the quality and professionalism they deserve.

Drummer Brandon Graves had a rough 2018 when he sustained a gnarly injury that would keep him off the kit for… a few months? Though still in the recovery process, he didn’t allow a minor fleshwound slow him down by any means. Brandon hopped back behind the kit to play his own benefit show. And since then, the Gutted camp have played countless other local shows, two festivals, and have gone on tour. And then they took a few minutes to give us this gem. 2019 looks like a pretty stellar year for the Gutted camp, and I’m very curious as to what 2020 will have in store.

Guys, I just wanna say I’m proud of these guys. In an age where bands pop up, fizzle out, and struggle to stay relevant, Gutted Alive are as formidable as ever. I understand that sometimes the heavier parts of the metal spectrum are more difficult to get into; slams, blastbeats, and pig squeals aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. But I think that one cannot simply dislike Gutted Alive. Gutted have a way of getting everyone to headbang and mosh, regardless of their musical preferences.   If you don’t believe me, get out to Rochester tomorrow. Gutted will be playing TWO sets tomorrow; Killing Desire in full plus some of our older favorites, including some special guests. They’ve got Buffalo’s Mass Casualty and Rochester’s newest slam trio Dissonant Seepage on the bill to keep shit heavy throughout the night.

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Likely, by the time you read this, Killing Desire will be out! Support your local scene, support underground death metal. You can grab your physical copies here on Gutted Alive’s official shop, and you can jam their earlier two albums on Bandcamp.

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