Quick Review: BROKEN HOPE Mutilated and Assimilated
One of the classic "no frills" American death metal bands, Chicago's Broken Hope have never been a band to show any quarter, even if they're equally disinclined to show fans a new look at any point, either. So you know what you're getting going into any new Broken Hope album: tuneful yet blistering riffs, fiendishly monotonous cookie monster vocals and frequent blast beats alternating like clockwork with slower breakdown passages. This can make for a fairly interchangeable back catalog in many cases, and Broken Hope have never entirely avoided that pitfall, but their decade-long breakup spanning most of the 21st Century thus far has rendered that complaint largely moot.
Mutilated and Assimilated is the band's second album since their 2012 reunion, and it improves upon 2013's Omen of Disease not through reinvention but wholly in terms of quality material. My promo copy did not come with a set of lyrics, and frankly I'm not sure I want to know what "Malicious Meatholes" refers to anyway, but the song is an engaging five-and-a-half minute romp through every crowd pleasing death metal trope in the books. Album single "The Meek Shall Inherit Shit" is a more concise outlet for the band's fury, establishing a take no prisoners attitude from the opening track. "The Necropants" – seriously, where the fuck do they come up with these song titles? – offers one of Jeremy Wagner's finest riffs in years, and a remake of the group's own classic "Swamped in Gore" on the expanded editions emphasizes just how little Broken Hope have veered from their roots. All in all, one of the groups most essential albums in years.