To be honest I don't even remember how I caught wind of Mutilation Rites from Brooklyn. I don't often go searching for new Black Metal as most of it I can't develop any kind of real interest in. These guys though have grabbed my attention in the last few weeks with their new LP, "Empyrean". Following a demo tape, a couple of 12" EP's, and a split 7" with fellow Brooklyn natives, Battilus, this new LP sees the band employing a pretty a-typical modern American black metal approach akin to a handful of the more well known bands of the moment; WITTR, Woe etc. Six tracks in about 35 minutes, all with a pretty slick recording, the band employ relatively shorter song structures that feature lots of melody, tremolo picking, 1-2-1-2 drum patterns, and high end vocal shrieks. Every now and then they mix it up a bit when they slow it down for the odd breakdown or bridge, something that pleases the punk in me with my shorter attention span. To suit the music, the packaging and presentation is also of the ultra slick variety. Nice, thick, firm vinyl. Glossy, thick, stiff gatefold sleeve with fantastic artwork.