It’s not everyday I get to talk about a ‘local’ band but Atlanta has some strikingly great metal bands and even better death metal bands that more than likely you’ve never heard of. So color me blood red that Mangled are seeing a proper release (on a local label no doubt) for their latest death metal EP Involuntary Organ Donor. It’s short and doesn’t offer any theatrics or crazy complicated technicality but what it does offer is a nod to the simpler more straightforward era of the genre. Back when simply making a few heads nod was considered a success.
The band has been around since 2011 and has a demo, two ep’s (incl this one) and a live album recorded at the 529 bar. All of which are the same kind of death metal that takes me back to my early 20’s, hitting shows on the regular and genuinely having a hell of a time. Look man, it’s not rocket science or the next big thing, just five dudes that like to don blood soaked butchers aprons and jam like its the 90’s again. Sometimes it’s just good to let your hair down and enjoy some tunes.
From the hacksaw toting zombie on the cover to the overtly obvious song titles this is what you’d expect if Cannibal Corpse or even Autopsy was a regular in your tape deck at some point. It has that low, guttural groove that will have your foot tapping, involuntarily. So be ready for that. With only three songs it seems odd to have an intro but “They’re Not Gonna Stay Down There Anymore” is actually a good fit. It plays into the band’s horror aspect as well as gives a taste of the crunchy mid tempo riffs Mangled can play to the hilt. “Involuntary Organ Donor” hits the gas in Six Feet Under fashion, complete with good cop bad cop or Barnes vs McEntee vocals. Tempos vary but the groove stays relatively unchanged with the exception of the pit starter breakdowns. Truth here, I’m an old so I hate pits but 20 yrs ago? All in.
“Butchery Loves Company” is the bread and butter of this EP. The nervous energy of black metal collides with the, oftentimes, brutal crunch of death metal to make for one heck of an addictive stew. And the swing melody near the end is a nice touch, gets the blood pumping again. With pedal and tremolo effects thrown in for good measure, this is the best track I’ve heard from the band yet. The production is crystal clear, so much better than their previous works and with the larger spectrum to deal with the band has taken advantage of it. They truly sound better than ever here.
On Involuntary Organ Donor, Mangled don’t try to be anything but what they are. Which is a straightforward death metal band out for the next packed house with a crowd that’ll be into what they’re doing. Take it from me, if you get the chance, catch them live. Drop all your worries on the way in, have fun, and you’ll be glad you went.