We ‘re all looking for the meaning of life every now and then. What is it that makes us happy, what’s that thing that brings joy to our hearts. The answers, only a few; a job that offers you a good quality of life, your team winning in every stadium in the whole world, PRIMITIVE AND MONOLYTHIC DEATH METAL. For the first two, I don’t have much to say; for the third one, however, Gutted took care of everything 25 years ago. What do you mean you’re not familiar with Gutted? Come here my precious child and I’ll show you the way.
Gutted were formed in 1990 in Toledo, Ohio by three brothers; Mark on bass and vocals, Mike on guitars and Scott on drums. At first Gutted were introduced to the extreme crowd as Demigod, although in 1991 the band settled with the name we all know.
The band’s first demo was released in 1991, entitled “Into The Gates Of Insanity”, while a second demo (“Disease”) was released a year later. Raw sound and compositions, reeking of Death Metal stench, most suitable for Cannibal Corpse – Malevolent Creation – Monstrosity fans. Thanks to Red Light Records, the first label that offered Gutted a contract, the band released their debut album, “Bleed for Us to Live”, in 1994, with guitarist Billy Mills recruited as a second guitar player. The album contained all four songs from “Disease” demo re-recorded, while 6 new tracks were included in the final tracklist.
“Bleed for Us to Live” is a 45 minutes long debut album that engulfs everything Classic Death Metal has to offer. Based upon a traditional American perception of Death Metal, Gutted flood our speakers with uncompromising structures full of primitive malevolence destroying every chance for sonic tranquility. Ironically, the album kicks off with a mysterious, creepy, yet quite generic intro, with cracks of lightnings, an ecclesiastic organ melody and rain, just like a retro b-movie. It could act as a sign for what’s to come, but no. After a slow passage, Gutted punch us in the throat and stab us at the ribs with blasting drums and relentless guitars that along with the otherworldly beastly vocals, lay the grounds for the rest of the album vicious attack. Even though Gutted walk along a certain direction with only a few ‘distractions’, they manage to keep our interests high. Two of the most characteristic features of the album are the alternations in rhythms (which are beautifully supported by guitar, bass and drums) and Marks screams, which urge you to do dangerous stuff. “Bleed For Us To Live” was recorded and mixed at RT Studio. The production was handled by Rob Tylak& GUTTED. The album was engineered and mixed by Rod Tylak initially, however in 2007 version, it was remastered by Mark Ditch at Collaboratory Studios.
After “Bleed for Us to Live” was released, Gutted started to become more recognizable amidst the underground scene and started making a legacy for themselves, by playing live at clubs along with prominent bands of the genre, such as Incantation.
In 1994 Gutted decided to record their second full length self-titled album, so they entered the studio with some of the tracks ready, along with a cover on Venom’s “Manitou”. Without changing routes or direction, Gutted delivered a record that would satisfy all those who indulged themselves “Bleed For Us To Live” and at the same time make the band a bit more appealing to the crowd of Europe, by incorporating features mostly deriving from the scene of the United Kingdom. No one can deny the common grounds between Gutted and Bolt Thrower, Benediction or even a mix of Cancer and Napalm Death. Certainly, guitars and drum have been elaborately taken care of, as they sound more mature, more professional, ‘complete’. Apart from the aforementioned, Gutted presented their Groovy, Thrash – Influenced Death Metal, with their classic –by now – crushingly heavy guitars, guttural vocals and exquisite drumming. During the recorded sessions, Billy Mills, who only on first three tracks, was replaced by Tony Moreno, who recorded the remaining tracks. Despite the fact that the material was ready, the album wasn’t released until 1997 by Loud n’ Local Music Group. In this release, the songs from the “Disease” demo were added as bonus tracks.
Curiously enough (never learned the reason why – whoever knows a bit more, please pitch in), Gutted disbanded after the release of their second album. Nonetheless, the band managed to gain the amount of appeal that’s enough to establish Gutted as one of the most powerful Death Metal bands of the US underground scene. The enthusiasts and collectors of the genre certainly know what Gutted are all about; those of you however who haven’t still become familiar with those psychos, please do yourself a favour and click the play button of the link provided higher and even order the albums. These albums surely found their way into my collection, for once.
The Greek label Repulsive Echo did a reissue of the albums on Digipak CD format with fold posters inside (limited to 500 copies worldwide), though both of the albums are currently sold out. Hopefully, more copies will be cut at some point in the future. Nonetheless, don’t miss the chance to check Repulsive Echo, as well.