Fleshgrind – Destined For Defilement

Mechanical brutal death metal.  Not industrial; mechanical.  Machinegun blasting, ultra-precise tremolo riffs, and not a hint of groove anywhere.  Even the vocal lines are very tight, particularly in the more percussive sections, where individual gurgles and squeals are cut down to the barest possible monosyllabic statements of intent.  The bass is audible and perpetually thunking away in the background of the production, which lacks any sort of tonal definition or subtlety; everything’s just a series of on/off switches.

The style of death metal played here is at least partially archaic.  A lot of mid-’90s brutal death sounds like this; I guess that the establishment of brutal death metal as an INTENDED idea instead of one stumbled across demanded that it be made brutal by sacrificing any sort of human feeling.  That’s why there are no instrumental errors, no melodies, nothing really musical about this album at all.  It could have been made by a computer.  It’s a draining listen.  It’s a lot like getting punched in the stomach for a half hour.

I don’t really ‘like’ this album as much as appreciate it.  There’s not much death metal out there that’s so obsessively uncompromising; even later Fleshgrind made some concessions to the listener with warmer production, less oppressive song structures, and occasional flickers of melody instead of the perpetually rumbling series of low, atonal notes that compose the riffs of this album.  It’s not an album that can be criticized for not being death metal ENOUGH; it’s practically the essence of the genre.  There are no solos, breakdowns, or thrash sections.  Blast, midpaced slog.  Those are the two settings of this music.  It’s the anti-Devourment.

I’d say this is on some level mandatory for every death metal fan, just to hear what this particular niche of death metal was like and to witness the result of death metal stripped of all thrash.  Aside from that, I can’t see anyone else needing to hear this, much less wanting to.

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~ by noktorn on March 26, 2008.

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