Mutoid Man’s follow up to their debut EP Helium Head (my favorite album of 2013) is a full-length with ten songs and twenty-nine minutes of punishing, technical, Sabbath-influenced rock. Comprised of lead singer and guitarist Stephen Brodsky (Cave In), bassist Nick Cageao, and drummer Ben Koller (Converge, All Pigs Must Die), this trio is tight and nimble but can also crush when need be. Brodsky’s vocals go back and forth between clean singing and intense screaming, which mirrors his vocal range from Cave In. Ben Koller’s drumming is once again fantastic. Where many drummers would be content with simple beats on the snare, Koller throws in complex sequences that flow flawlessly. Brodsky and Cageao are also great musicians on their respective instruments. But let’s face it: it’s hard to top an album that was my favorite of 2013. There is the technical prowess, but it lacks the bite that was on Helium Head. Brodsky relies on the clean singing vocals more than the growls, which takes a bit of the edge off (although All Pigs Must Die vocalist Kevin Baker’s guest vocals on “Dead Dreams” are pretty sick). Despite my desire for more bite, it is a killer album in its own right. Start here and work your way back. You’ll thank me.
–kurt (Sargent House, sargenthouse.com)