The boat sailed a good fifteen years ago
Enslavsion, the second full length release from Canada's Mutated, has been sitting on my “to do” pile for quite a while now. When I first received it I gave it a spin or two and relegated it to the bottom of the stack in an attempt to put off the inevitable. The day finally arrived when I reached for something new from the pile and it was back at the top of the pack.
To sum the band up and put a nice little label on them, Mutated are basically a thrash outfit that incorporate some death metal tendencies. If that description makes you cast your mind back to late 80's styled metal then you're pretty spot on. That the band have this particular pedigree isn't too surprising considering that, according to The Metal Archives, they have been around since 1990 and this particular style of metal was much more prevalent than it is today. This serves as the biggest problem with Enslavsion.
Enslavsion is an album that has been pulled out of a deeply long buried time capsule and, unlike some of the true gems of the period, simply has not stood the test of time. Everything, bar perhaps the drumming, sounds completely dated and tired. This is not helped by a somewhat muffled and undercooked production that sucks the life out of even the sharpest and brightest guitar solo. There truly isn't much of anything to get particularly excited about here because it has been done many, many times before to much greater effect.
To be completely blunt, I'll be damned if this isn't one of the most boring releases I've heard in a long time. Maybe if it had indeed been released in the late 80's or, at a stretch, the early 90's it might have found an audience willing to embrace it, but these days it just doesn't stand a chance against such a fiercely competitive and highly resurgent metal universe.
Look, Mutated aren't necessarily doing anything wrong per se, I mean they can all play their instruments and are capable of writing some passable riffs and even pulling off some decent guitar solos and drum patterns etc, but the fact is that what these guys are doing musically was already starting to feel pretty tired and redundant a good fifteen years ago and there simply isn't any innovation or anything else for that matter that gives Enslavsion a unique identity or a fresh appeal. With a lack of strong melodic hooks or catchy riffs it is doomed to remain as a tiny voice unable to make itself heard above the much louder choir.
This all might seem harsh but there's little point in pissing in anybody's pockets to avoid telling the ugly truth. You'll thank me later.