Cut Wide Open - Entitled To Gravity - (9/10)
Published on August 26, 2019
Finland isn’t a country I’d expect top quality deathcore from. But then again, deathcore is not a genre I particularly follow, beyond the most popular acts (although Shadow Of Intent have utterly annihilated the competition this year!). Hailing from Espoo, deathcore quartet Cut Wide Open have finally unleashed their first full-length album upon the world – despite being together since 2009 and releasing a few demos and EPs. At a mere 23 minutes, Entitled To Gravity is probably the bare minimum of what I could call an LP, but the quality on offer is of a such a high standard, I’ll let anything pass! This is groovy, punchy, chugging, breakdown-ridden deathcore with elements of groove metal and hardcore, so prepare your baseball cap, camo shorts and neck for a barrage of almost unnecessarily heavy tunes.
Essentially split into two halves, Entitled To Gravity provides a satisfying barrage of chunky deathcore which is simultaneously blindsiding and refreshingly brief. Fourth track, “Departed”, acts as a tranquil-yet-haunting breather between the maelstrom that surrounds it. This is a damn good way to structure an album of this style. It leaves me wanting just a little bit more, which is a rare case for deathcore albums. Then again, I’ve never been one to denounce simplistic riffage and slow breakdowns. I love them. Hefty, detuned chugging at half speed? Yes sir! Luckily, Cut Wide Open seem to enjoy them equally as much. The production quality is no more than I could ask for. Oskari’s roars are front and centre when they need to be; Martti’s drums are bombastic without being overpowering (especially that huge snare), and the guitar tone is so crunchy you could market it as a special breakfast cereal. I’ve never encountered such a fine balance between ‘polished’ and ‘raw’.
Opener “Pro Vanity” encapsulates everything good these Finns stand for in a concise, 3-minute package. Massive riffs, a shout-along chorus, and just a little sprinkling of decent melody towards the end. The shorter “Mexican Standoff” follows suit, but utilizes some different time signatures, a few moments for the bass guitar to stand out, and my favourite breakdown on the album (1:41 – gotta love those pinches!). By the time “Go Hard Or Go Home” hits you in the face like a sledgehammer, your neck is already aching. However, this ends up being both the longest, best and most pummeling on the album. From the utterly punishing bombardment of thick riffs to the slightly off-kilter breakdown, I can see why this was wisely chosen as the single (there’s even a cheeky ‘blegh!’ at 3:01, can’t sneak that one by me!).
If you’re not paying enough attention, the last three tracks could blur into one big whirlwind. “Nicotine Slave” is one of the more melody-based tracks on the album, and probably the closest these guys get to metalcore; “Leech” is a wild fluctuation of tempos and vocal styles (spoken, high screams, mid-pitch roars and guttural growls) and “The Wolf You Feed”, despite being one of the coolest song-titles ever, is anything but ‘cool’. It slogs at your skull with one furious blastbeat after the other, culminating in a colossal breakdown which takes us right up to the abrupt end of the disc. Even when an LP is as brief as this, it manages to contain all the elements that make deathcore fun and exciting without resorting to dragging out material unnecessarily. Cut Wide Open have made it onto my list of deathcore bands to actually keep an eye on. Recommended for fans of the heavier side of metalcore such as Caliban or Solitude, but truth be told, any deathcore fan should lap this up. Bravo Finland! I’m proud to own this little gem.