Without wishing to be unfair to Amputated, their stated aim of being “the sickest death metal band in Bristol” was hardly likely to be too difficult to achieve. Despite a limited discography, the five-piece have become notorious in recent years not only for their fondness for graphic imagery, but also a slightly cringe worthy appearance on BBC documentary Singing With the Enemy where they wrote and performed a song with all-girl pop act Fallen Angelz. Recent line-up changes also meant the departure of founding members Ollie and Mark who also wrote the majority of the songs, leaving Amputated a fresh set of challenges to overcome with third full-length “Dissect, Molest, Ingest.”
After a brief snippet of stitched together TV murder reports, the band kick into ‘Gorging on Putrid Discharge’ and it becomes instantly apparent that while the lyrical matter may be still firmly focused on gore and depravity, the music has undergone a significant transition. Instead of the sloppy, straightforward barrage of yesteryear, we now have a sound that has been modelled on Cannibal Corpse’s early to mid 90s period. The riffs sound sharper and clearer, there are some melodies you’re sure you first heard on “The Bleeding” and the delivery is clinical and more efficient. While the improvement in songwriting is to be admired, it seems that some of the goofy, morbid charm has been sacrificed in its place.
The likes of ‘The Local Flavour’, ‘Infanticidal Dysmorphia’ and ‘Skullfuck Lobotomy’ press all the required buttons with their lurching chugs, no-nonsense percussion and Mark Gleed’s suitably guttural vocals in particular a step-up from the one-dimensional frog croaks of before. However this new and improved Amputated has little to distinguish itself in an overcrowded field where new heights of technicality and brutality are reached on an almost weekly basis. Whereas before they retained a certain novelty for their no-frills extremism and offensiveness, now they’re just another serviceable death metal act to fill the bill at all-day festivals.