Mutation: Error 500 – album reviewMutation: Error 500

CD / LP / DL

Out Now

Mutation feature members of The Wildhearts and Napalm Death, along with a slew of guest musicians including Merzbow & Mark E Smith and yesterday they released Error 500 via ipecac. Melodic AND brutal it’s billed as “the next step in the evolution of extreme music”. Do we agree? Read on to find out.

So what happens when you combine the musical talent of Shane Embury (Napalm Death), Ginger Wildheart (The Wildhearts), and Jon Poole (Cardiacs) … apart from the chance of broken speakers? That’s right, you’ve guessed it, the musical masterpiece that is Mutation.

The band’s debut, ‘The Frankenstein Effect’, shocked and excited the world when it was released back at the start of 2013. Now the boys are back for round two with their second album ‘Error 500’ which came out yesterday.

The word Mutation seems a slight understatement when talking about the collective’s sound. ‘Error 500’ mixes everything from grindcore noise, harmonising vocals and complex guitar riffs to present the world with one of the most boundary pushing albums in extreme music that we’ve heard in a while.

‘Bracken’ brutally kicks off the record with a combination of no holds barred noise and angry vocals. The sheer energy being released from the speakers makes it unavoidable for anyone listening to avoid the compulsive urge to pick something up and smash it against a wall.

This album is combined with so many different elements that it’s hard to lock them down. However, what does stand out is the variation of synths and sonic experimentation used within the sound. We are taken back to the old school days of pure industrial noise with the self-titled track, ‘Mutation’ whilst beamed up in songs such as ‘Innocentes In Morte’ where crazy beeping solos make it sound like the bridge of the Starship Enterprise.


Despite the raw thrashy sound of guitar and the heavy and fast mix of instruments, the album is actually extremely catchy and filled with tunes that are bound to get stuck in your head for days. Such as the stomping ‘Computer, this not what I….’ or the bouncy ‘Utopia Syndrome’.

‘Benzo Furry’ finishes off the album on a slightly calmer note with haunting vocals to help calm the listener after the intense musical experience that is Mutation.

Quoted by many as the album that could never be made, ‘Error 500’ is the one ride at the theme park that you know you’re going to throw up on. Both brilliant and nauseating, it invites brave ears to step forward and listen. Hopefully we’ll see more from Mutation in 2014.

The album is out now, make sure you pick up a copy!


The official Mutation Facebook page is here.  They’re also on Twitter.

All words by Sophie Sparham. More writing by Sophie on Louder Than War can be found at her author’s archive.

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  1. *Benzo fury not benzo furry.

    Also, The Frankenstein Effect wasn’t a commercial release, and it was launched alongside Error 500 as a pledge only affair. I don’t feel this is made clear. Error 500 is the debut commercial release.

    Otherwise, excellent review


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