Gutslit / Carnal, another slab of murder, torture and gore

The internationally acclaimed Brutal Deathgrinders, Gutslit from Mumbai, are back with their third studio release Carnal, the follow-up to 2017’s Amputheatre. Given that they were one of my first and definitely the most brutal introduction to the Indian Metal scene many years ago, I’m quite excited about reviewing this release.

Gutslit – Carnal (Independent)

Release Date: 7 July 2023

Words: Jools Green

Over their three releases, they have continually developed their technical prowess but always maintained the flesh-searing level of brutality to the sound, and this offering sees the return of vocalist Aditya Barve who featured on the 2013 debut Skewered In The Sewer.

Gutslit - Carnal
Gutslit – Carnal

Carnal is, lyrically, another slab of murder, torture and gore, exploring, in the band’s words, “the many facades that we all wear and the numerous personas that we all adopt to navigate the challenges of life.”

“It features tracks that draw inspiration from the minds of infamous serial killers, illuminating the darkest corners of the human psyche and offering a unique perspective on the human experience.

“Carnal is a masterful exploration of the intricate struggles of the human psyche. With a keen eye for detail and a remarkable understanding of the complexity of the human mind, we delve deep into the age-old conflict between good and evil. The tracks on this album depict the various phases of the human experience, from the deepest pits of despair to the highest peaks of euphoria.”

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The eight-track, twenty-nine-minute offering is an utter face blaster from the offset. Opening on Son Of Sam with its vicious, driving opening riffs and raw snarling vocals, the direction shifts and the pace ramps up just over a minute in, along with some superb technical riffing, then plunges into a crushing breakdown with squealing vocals alongside the growls, midway through the second half. A massively impactful and attention-grabbing opener.

Matriarch is a brutal driving beast. The vocals have superb range and intonation, and there’s a subtle groovy undercurrent that emerges between the riffing onslaught, adding a hugely engaging aspect to a crushingly good track.

The next track, Bind Torture Kill, has a surprise in the shape of guest vocals from Julien Truchan of the French Brutal Death/Grindcore outfit Benighted. A maniacal driver embellished with squeals and cavernous roars, there’s a very hypnotically engaging feel to this brutal beast of a track. The subtle ebb and build to the unrelenting drive keep a firm grip on your attention.

A drum battery and cavernous roar assault your senses as The Killing Joke opens. The driving riffs undulate in mesmerising waves, and the direction switching is slick. A track that is brutal and engaging in equal measures.

The next piece may be Insidious by name, but it’s enthralling to the ear, the riffs spiralling and undulating, the vocals snarling and growling, then suddenly, this forty-one-second gem is over far too soon.

Body Snatcher opens with an ominous mood to the repeating riffs. An engagingly long opener to the second longest track of the release at almost five minutes, it turns darker and more insidious once the vocals kick in. But there is a bouncy technical aspect, and I love the squealy, insane burst of leadwork midway through, which turns a good track into a great track that ticks all the boxes and packs a massive punch in the process.

Altar Of Putridity is initially slower with a sinister groovy feel that is so enthralling, then when the pace picks up its full throttle, it becomes filthy and driving, with the vocals coming in as two voices giving a dialogue feel. The second half absolutely slams. A brutally brilliant track.

There’s no let-up in the crush to this album with the hypnotically brutal final offering, the six-minute beast, Primeval. Bursts of spiralling leadwork emerge from the undulating drive of the riffing, and the mid-point drop and direction switch is a gut churner. It falls and rises again so rapidly, with head-spinning spiralling riffs and the very poignant pause and silent moment mid-way through the second half that leaves you wondering what’s next. The answer is an unnervingly eerie riff-infused outro. A clever, psychologically uneasy close to a great album.

The eye-catching album artwork is exquisitely complex and very befitting for this release, courtesy of Kidsquidy. Carnal is available as a CD Vinyl or digital release along with merch from Bandcamp.

Sleeve Notes

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