Album Review: Gutlocker – To Be Alive (Self Released)
Gutlocker’s debut full-length record, and first new music since the 2018 ‘Cry Havoc’ EP, is called ‘To Be Alive’ and it will be released on July 8th, 2022.
Recorded during the first lockdown in 2020, Gutlocker wanted to use their time to write something that’s different, bigger and better than anything that has been released previously. The events of the last two years have caused mental health conditions to rise with 1 in 10 people experiencing some form of depression, Gutlocker wants these people to know we see you; we hear you!
With a strong foundation to build upon, Gutlocker make their mark with this full-length debut by delivering passionate and believable content, wrapped up in the sound of fresh groove metal. Where a track like Send Them All In get the body shaking and the head-banging almost immediately. A ton of fire and fury, Gutlocker are spitting and snarling from the very start and it’s infectious as hell.
If that opener was a prod to show just how far Gutlocker have come since 2018, Make My Day is a full-on punch to the head. Energetic, angry, and groovy, the band’s individual talents combine to create something that gets the blood-pumping loudly in the temple. It’s got fighting spirit, as does Sink or Swim, a straight-forward blast of gurning and groaning heavy metal.
The title track is up next, taking the impressive detail and proclivity for undeniable progression that Gutlocker are portraying here, to another level. One of, if not the finest tracks the band has ever produced, just try to not get your stompy groove on with this intense head-banger, it’s impossible.
Impossibility that continues into the thrashier Out of Sight, the frenetic and brash groove of SFS, and the monstrous meatiness of Absence of Change. To Be Alive continuing to deliver track after track of body-shaking, muscle-loosening, and neck-aching music.
Should you feel like you need a break, Gutlocker have you covered as a short Interlude arrives. A minute of subtle and cold melody, before Once A Snake and Temporary Bliss bring things back up. The former showcasing some of Gutlocker’s heaviest riffs so far and the latter showcasing a sharp groove that cuts through the malaise of modern living. Top shelf stuff especially as a melodic outro transitions into the finale.
All good things must come to an end though and with A Man Too Proud, Gutlocker go out with a bloody big bang. A 12+ minute crash, bang, and wallop. Where Gutlocker flex their metal muscles to show off their rippling strength in more departments than just groove. Where chunky riffs, progressive melody, grandiose vocals and verbose metal detail blend wonderfully together to create something unforgettable.
Gutlocker – To Be Alive Full Track Listing:
1. Send Them All In
2. Make My Day
3. Sink or Swim
4. To Be Alive
5. Out of Sight
7. Absence of Change
9. Once A Snake
10. Temporary Bliss
11. A Man Too Proud
Bandcamp | Spotify | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube
Gutlocker - To Be Alive (Self Released)
The Final Score - 9/10