Record Reviews

Album review: Gutter Instinct “Age of the Fanatics”

Gutter Instinct Promo Photo

Gutter Instinct gives us terrific blackened Swedish death metal from the dark side on their debut album.

Gutter Instinct, formed in 2012 in Helsingborg, Sweden, roams around on the darker, blackened edge of the Swedish death metal scene. There is a fair bit of black metal influences on this album which is great. This is the ugly and naughty stepchild of the scene’s more established and polished acts. And the stepchild’s smelly arrival on the scene comes with a bag full of blast beats, heavy riffing and growling.

“Leper Beholder” opens the ceremony in a great way and tells us that this is a heavy, dirty and fast album. Gutter Instinct’s music is dark, damp, smelly, sinister, angry, primitive, mostly furiously fast and very, very good. There is some fine musicianship on this album. Gutter Instinct has previously released a few demos as well as an EP last year. “Age of the Fanatics” is the band’s full-length debut album.

The title track is one of the best tracks but the album is strong throughout – there are no dips and no fillers. This is brutal death metal with big doses of black metal and influences from other forms of extreme metal. We get an album with quite a few variations between, and within, songs. Many tempo changes and different styles are crammed into this terrific album.

Booklet.indd“No Place for the Cross” is a fast and furious little piece of brilliant music that could almost be a Napalm Death or Aborted track – great extreme metal – while some of the other tracks are more straightforward death metal. “An Ending in Fire” opens fast but then has some slower heavy parts that almost are doom-like. On “Counter Culture” we get a fantastic heavy metal guitar solo at the end of an otherwise very brutal track. The album closes with “Exile”, a very fast track at breakneck speed.

This is a wonderful and gloriously brutal debut album by a great band that will no doubt keep doing great stuff in the gutters of the extreme metal scene.

“Age of the Fanatics” will be released by Prosthetic Records on 27th May.