Mutation – III: Dark Black (Review)

MutationThis is the third album from Mutation, a UK hardcore band.

Featuring Ginger from The Wildhearts, this is a very different proposition to the kind of material he usually produces.

Spawned from the darkness of depression, mental health issues, and deep personal problems, III: Dark Black is the sound of artists giving vent to the blackness that lives within.

This release is incredibly hostile and contains the kind of bottled rage, anger, and hatred that a lot of extreme metal bands would kill for. Of course, if they really felt it they probably wouldn’t want it, which is why the venomous bile on this album is so compelling; this is utterly real and almost tangible in its ferocity and loathing. This is tempered, however, with an appreciation for songcraft that shouldn’t be surprising considering the source.

I’ve loosely labelled this a hardcore album, but the reality is that this is a much more diverse release, taking influences from hardcore, punk, crust, industrial, noise, grindcore, and many others. Also, importantly, there’s still a sense of songwriting finesse and surprisingly infectious and catchy delivery buried beneath the chaos here; a twisted pop sensibility. Without this the album would just be a series of screams and random noises; with it, however, we get the kind of album that unleashes Hell on the listener, but in the kind of controlled, directed way that actually makes you want to return to the mayhem and experience it again and again and again.

Having said that though, despite having a certain song-based approach at heart, it’s still buried under layers of malevolence and bitter bile, and Mutation are surely not for the casual listener or for anyone unfamiliar with the extremity which lurks at the heart of the underground or the minds of damaged people. For every accessible moment on III: Dark Black you’ll find ten that are the opposite.

This really is a high quality release. The music on this album easily strikes a chord with the listener, and contains a lot of surprisingly engaging and emotive music alongside the raw pain and aggression that’s also here in abundance.

Highly personal and individual music should be applauded and supported, especially when it comes from such pain and hardship. You must check out Mutation. Do it now.

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