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Album Review: Bleeder by Mutoid Man

Mutoid Man release their new album Bleeder worldwide on the 30th June (29th in the UK) via Sargent House. A blistering 30 minutes of balls out metal. There are elements of stoner metal, prog metal and moments of full on thrash. Mutoid Man was initially meant to be an exercise in flexing the creative chops outside of the members’ other projects, but with the success of their debut EP Helium Head, the band were destined to make this more full time.

Bleeder won’t give you much of a chance to sit back and take it in, it really is a visceral attack of thumping bass, pounding drums and devastatingly heavy guitars. From the frantic opener of ‘Bridgeburner’ you have the impression that Mutoid Man aren’t going to make this an easy listen. ‘Reptilian Soul’ is the most accessible track, solos and expansive guitar riffs are favoured to the brutal heaviness of the opener. There’s a distinct Queens Of The Stone Age sound.

‘Sweet Ivy’ goes for the sludge metal vibe which has proved successful to Mastodon, yet it comes up drastically short of emulating their impact. The frantic pace and blistering riffs of ‘Surveillance’ are a real treat, it packs a punch and makes you stand up and take notice. Unfortunately moments like this are pretty scarce on Bleeder. You’ll find the majority of the tracks washing over you with little to no impact. Conversely the talent within Mutoid Man is obvious. They’re tight and the intricacies behind the riffs have to be admired, yet it just doesn’t come off for the most part. ‘Beast’ and ‘Dead Dreams’ are prime examples. There’s some great riffs lurking just under the covers yet it doesn’t elicit any excitement or any lasting impression on the listener.

The most damning thing you could say about Bleeder is the fact that you get to the end and don’t feel like you’ve listened to a fully formed album. Set aside the couple of standout tracks and it’s 90% filler. ‘Soft Spot In My Soul’ does have some excellent riffs, it stands out as the most proficient track yet you don’t have any urge to listen to the track again. Album closer and title track ‘Bleeder’ is the best track on the album by a long way. It’s a big expansive metal track that has the hallmarks of a well refined and well structured song. If the rest of the album was like this, it would be a very different story.

Mutoid Man do deliver a visceral metal attack on Bleeder, it just doesn’t translate into a great album. For the most part it’s average and by the numbers. Stick the day jobs.

AD Rating 5.5/10

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