Old school death metal with brutality and technicality

Mutilated and Assimilated is Broken Hope’s sixth full length album and their second since their 2012 reunion. The line up sees lead guitarist Matt Szlachta (ex-Dirge Within/Chimaira) and bassist Diego Soria (Disgorge) making their debuts.

Despite key lineup changes, Broken Hope have not lost a step, as fiery album opener ‘The Meek Shall Inherit Shit’ soon proves as it roars into life. ‘The Bunker’ and the title track find Broken Hope in fine form. ‘Mutilated and Assimilated’ in particular boasts some tasteful lead work from Szlachta that fits right among Leski’s powerful growls. ‘Outback Incest Clan’ features some excellent, heavy riffing that makes the track’s two and a half minute running time go by in a flash. ‘Malicious Meatholes’ opens with an apt sample of dialogue, featuring more of that tasteful lead work and a sombre, down tempo middle section that gives way to an eerie extended outro.

‘Blast Frozen’ picks the pace back up, showing some varied work from drummer Mike Miczek, along with some deeper gutturals from Leski that almost call to mind fallen original Broken Hope vocalist Joe Ptacek (himself known for having had some of the lowest vocals in death metal). ‘The Necropants’ features not only a catchy title, but belies an increase in the technicality of the compositions employed thus far. Used to good effect here, it shows that Broken Hope still have some tricks up their collective sleeves. ‘The Carrion Eaters’ soon kicks in, displaying some impressive tandem work from Leski and Miczek, set amongst the foundation provided by Wagner, Szlachta and Soria. An impressive growl from Leski follows and the track breaks down, settling into a menacing lurch for a brief respite, until picking back up in intensity.

‘Russian Sleep Experiment’, ‘Hell’s Handpuppets’, and brief closer ‘Beneath Antarctic Ice’ make for a fine closing trio, each displaying the various moods and strengths that Broken Hope have played to throughout Mutilated and Assimilated. ‘Hell’s Handpuppets’ returns to the well, offering some find lead work from Szlachta amid Leski’s ever impressive growls, ‘Beneath Antarctic Ice’ offers an unsettling soundscape of effects and samples.  Capping off the album, in a similar way to ‘Incinerated (Redux)’ on its predecessor, is ‘Swamped in Gorehog’. A re-recording of a track from their debut album, this 2017 version proves a nice bonus to long-time fans, and newer fans perhaps looking to glimpse into Broken Hope’s well-respected past.

Mutilated and Assimilated is the rejuvenated Broken Hope continuing on their slightly altered path. An offering of solid old school death metal with both hints of brutality and technicality.

1. The Meek Shall Inherit Shit
2. The Bunker
3. Mutilated and Assimilated
4. Outback Incest Clan
5. Malicious Meatholes
6. Blast Frozen
7. The Necropants
8. The Carrion Eaters
9. Russian Sleep Experiment
10. Hell’s Handpuppets
11. Beneath Antarctic Ice
12. Swamped-In Gorehog (25th anniversary tribute)