MANGLED CARPENTER: Salvation Syndrome

Mangled Carpenter
Salvation Syndrome
(Rottweiler/Broken Curfew)

Multi-state Mangled Carpenter (members range from California to Connecticut) have been making music since as early as 2007, but have been a lot more active in the last 5 years, releasing a plethora of singles via digital download. As best as I can tell Salvation Syndrome is their third physical release, and their second full-length. The album features 9 songs, plus an additional 7 bonus tracks, which are instrumental versions of the first 7 album tracks. The other two songs (rounding out the first 9) are cover tunes, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

The music here is death metal, most of the traditional variety. There are elements of brutal d.m. and grindcore, but they are essentially elements of their traditional death metal sounds. There are no melodic leads like in many Euro-style bands, nor any complicated time signatures and riffing. And yet SS does have enough diversity and changes in their sound to keep things interesting. I’m personally not a fan of bands who seem to only pummel listeners’ ears with speed and brutality alone, and Mangled Carpenter don’t do that here. Fans of early Mortification, later Napalm Death, Sympathy, Light Unseen, and classic-era Bolt Thrower all have something to enjoy here.

Lyrically the band tackle a variety of topics, all from a clear perspective of Christian faith.

Whether the topic is judgmentalism:

Take the plank out of your eye
There’s a lumberyard reaching the sky
(from “Lumberyard”)
Or the need to show compassion to those outside the faith:
They already know the story
But they need to see the light
Time to move beyond our words
And begin showing what is right
(from “They Already Know”)
Or the lack of humility and repentance amongst many believers:
Sheep in the flock seem so content
Live without fear never repent
Apathy complacency
No thought about those in need
Congregation servants of God
Have forgotten grace from above
(from the title track)

The band find straight-forward, yet creative ways of addressing contemporary issues facing the Church. Tracks 8 and 9 are both covers of classic Christian bands, “JGSH” originally by Mortification and “Receive Him,” a re-worked version of the Vengeance Rising tune. The bonus instrumental tracks are a nice touch, as it allows the listener to hear the music in a different light and pick out different parts of the songs sometimes covered up by the harsh d.m. vocals.

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