Before acquiring this CD, I had heard one song from it, "Immemorial Lunacy", which pretty much got me hooked from the start. Fast, dark, atmospheric, transcendental, and wholly unique in it's sound and approach. The drums, while programmed, have a seductively relentless technological feel, perhaps adding to that "transcendental" aspect of MUTANT'S music (the speed of the blast-beats and double bass is inhumanly fast, but it's just so cool to "imagine" a drummer REALLY playing that stuff!). Add to that remarkable mixture a subtle backdrop of tasteful, NOT-cheesy keyboard textures (be still my heart!), and I KNEW I had to buy this album! I'd listened to the aforementioned song so many times, I couldn't stand it any longer...
Now I must admit, I was not expecting the rest of the compositions on "The Aeonic Majesty" to live up to the grandiose darkness of "Immemorial Lunacy", but OH MY, was I wrong on that one. The moment I popped it in the CD-player, I was knocked unconscious by the genius riffs and involving rhythms of "The Majestic Twelve" (and when I awoke, I found myself on The Mother Ship surrounded by...etc). Every single second of this album is not without a stately purpose! Henrik Ohlsson's tortured rasps are purely "Black Metal," but they're not just monotonous SCREAMS, and, for the most part, they're not wrought with oodles of reverb and effects, they just fit the superb music like a well-worn glove. It really is a rare thing for me to actually have ZERO complaints about the vocals on a so-called "Black Metal"-release, as I've never been much of a fan of that vocal style, but I have to confess, they've grown on me, much like that "thing" I see when I pull down my pants and out spills this giant...ohh oops gotta stay focused here...
The RIFFS, however, are the obvious highlight of MUTANT. Guitar-wizard Peter Lake (is that his REAL last name? I'm a bit sceptical...) has really proven himself to be a crafty mastermind at generating sounds with his axe that probe and stir the darkest depths of the human psyche...This is why I think the term "transcendental" portrays MUTANT most accurately. The way in which the highly skilled, arpeggiated riffs work in tandem with the excellent keyboard-layerings ultimately makes for a most unforgettable listening experience.
Sure, you can say that bands like EMPEROR are the undisputed masters of such a musical approach (obscure/atmospheric Black Metal), but MUTANT have something entirely more fresh and different to offer here than any EMPEROR-wannabe could ever hope to accomplish. This is just purely ORIGINAL music with a clear-cut goal: to cut into a whole NEW dimension in the art of Heavy Metal-music. Unlike their "sister-band" THEORY IN PRACTICE, MUTANT are much more straightforward in the compositional sense, emphasizing the EMOTION with the riffs and melodies, instead of twisting the mind in every possible direction (as with TiP). There are more definable "verse-bridge-chorus-etc" structures on "The Aeonic Majesty," which, in many ways, is a great contrast to the total "pummeling-of-the-mind" one receives from TiP's "The Armageddon Theories."
So what do YOU gain from all this? Well, I can say that I've tried at least ten different versions of how to explain what makes MUTANT so unique, but each time I fail miserably. One thing I CAN say with complete certitude is that MUTANT are onto something very intriguing and unexplored here, and hopefully this "side-project" will stay alive for a good long while. It would be dire a shame if this musical medium were not exploited more by these two (maybe a full line-up on the next album?) gentlemen. Should we be graced with another MUTANT-album, I'll bet the house that it will be another god-slab of resourceful...aeonic...majesty...?...Wait a tick, where have I heard that?...Ahhh hell all I have left to say is: PLEASE check out this band! Do it for...your country! Be patriotic goddamnit!