MUTOID MAN: Helium Head: CD/LP

Jun 13, 2014

Don’t call it a super group; it’s an awe-inspiring power trip. Mutoid Man (not to be confused with Olympia, Washington’s Mutoid Men) is the duo of Stephen Brodsky (Cave In) on guitar and vocals and Ben Koller (Converge, Acid Tiger, All Pigs Must Die) on drums. Both musicians have taken a bit from each of their respective main acts (Cave In and Converge), showcased some Black Sabbath influence on the guitar and low-end (the album does have bass), and rolled it together to make a tight thrash album. Brodsky’s vocals switch back and forth between screaming (think Before Your Heart Stops-era Cave In) and singing (more recent Cave In), and Koller’s drumming is insane. He is without a doubt one of the best drummers out there in the metal and hardcore scenes. Give this album a few listens, then go back and only focus on Koller’s drumming. It’s so complex and fast. He never takes an easy way out with simple fills. Then listen to the album some more and focus on Brodsky’s guitar playing, which hasn’t sounded this intense and technical in years. An especially noteworthy example of the complexity both members bring can be found on “Friday the 13/8” (written in a crazy 13/8 time signature, hence the title). There’s not one song on this album that is a letdown. All seven tracks bring a force I haven’t heard from many acts in the past few years. The only problem with Helium Head is its brevity. With a running time of seventeen minutes I could’ve stood another three to five tracks. Otherwise, this is fucking brilliant. 

 –kurt (Magic Bullet)