Demo:listen: Mutilate

Welcome to Demo:listen, your weekly peek into the future of underground extreme metal. Whether they’re death, black, doom, sludge, grind, thrash, -core, heavy, speed, punk-, stoner, etc., we’re here to bring you the latest demos from the newest bands. This week Demo:listen’s is coming from within the fortress of suffering with Ithaca’s Mutilate.

Perhaps you’ll recall this demo from seeing it in Iron Bonehead’s Top 5 list from the big end of the year megapost we rolled out two weeks ago. That’s how we heard about Fortress Of Suffering, too, and a band like Mutilate is precisely why we ask P. from IBP to contribute every year. But with Mutilate’s Fortress Of Suffering demo, it’s almost like we’ve been hoodwinked into jamming an unknown demo from the deep past.

Hans Kristianson, Mutilate’s guitarist assures us: it’s the total opposite.

“We’re aiming for the future, not the 80’s,” says Hans. “Too much nostalgia and forgetting the real world isn’t necessarily a good thing.”

Every aspect of Fortress Of Suffering reeks of a bygone era, and the underground therein. But what Mutilate’s demo is made of is a timeless thing. A young band using whatever resources they had on hand to put out these songs.

“Honestly we’re pretty naive and inexperienced,” says Hans. “[I] put together a line up that could play [the] songs. [Fortress Of Suffering] was recorded DIY at a place we call ‘The Barn’ to the best of our ability! We didn’t go to Mourissound or anything like that.”

“Right to Die” opens up the demo and almost immediately you’re struggling to cope with how good it is. It’s a song about euthanasia, it sounds kinda like Napalm Death. It’s too killer to handle!

Says Hans: “The song [‘Right to Die’] advocates the right to assisted suicide for those who are terminal and suffering. It’s about mercy and compassion. The central theme in Mutilate’s lyrics is pain and torment.”

“Gas Chamber” sounds like a lost Sodom track that existed sometime between Persecution Mania and Agent Orange. Riffs filthy and timeless. Headbanging compulsive. Then the title track brings it all down on your head.

“[‘Fortress of Suffering’] is about the internment camp in Guantanamo Bay,” reveals Hans. “The song is about torture executed by the military.”

Fortress Of Suffering is a three song demonstration that promises undeniably exciting things to come, yet it is also consummate in and of itself. This is a demo to be owned, to be jammed, and to be cherished as a future relic.

As for Mutilate’s future, Hans promises, “We are going to release a record this year.