Saturday, 31 March 2012

FLESHCRAWL - Descend Into The Absurd (1992)

01  Between Shadows They Crawl
02  Phrenetic Tendencies
03  Perpetual Dawn
04  Purulent Bowel Erosion
05  Lost In A Grave
06  Never To Die Again
07  Festering Flesh
08  Infected Subconscious
09  Evoke The Excess

As we entered 1992, the year in which death metal peaked in terms of sheer quantity of quality recordings, an unforgiving cloud formed over southern Germany. Ghouls gathered, preparing to sweep across the land and coat it in death and in chaos. For not only were Atrocity creating their marvellous progressive opus “Longing for Death”; Fleshcrawl were writing this glorious and savage tribute to the soulless.

The band was formed by Stefan Hanus and Bastian Herzog in 1987 under the name Morgöth. In 1990, after original lead vocalist Wendelin Dopfer left the band, Alex Pretzer was signed on, the band changed their name to Suffocation, and released a demo tape called 'Festering Flesh'. After the release of their demo tape, the band was forced to change their name because the American band, Suffocation, had released their first vinyl output earlier. The band was officially renamed Fleshcrawl and they released their first 7" EP "Lost in a Grave" in 1991 through Morbid Records.
Unlike later albums, Descend Into The Absurd has minor black metal and doom metal elements to it, particularly in the guitar work, which is often less rhythmic and melodic than their later, Swedish-style death metal. The guitar melodies and tones often alternate somewhat abruptly between low, intense rhythms and high-beat, rapid progressions and the solowork has a very slight bluesy feel to it. The drumwork is typical of early Fleshcrawl, consisting of rapid double-bass drum rolls, heavy blast beats, and a somewhat "tinny" sound that, combined with their both searing mid-range and guttural low-range vocals makes their early sound unique.

Fleshcrawl tread the road of doomy death metal upon which the likes of Autopsy and Darkthrone had explored in years previous, but rather than tentatively edging forward like a blind man on a diving board, they plunged headlong into the unknown with a slab of unnerving detachment from life and into the embrace of feral meaninglessness....
Germany has given us numerous quality death metal albums over the years, but this is one of the best out there even though most of the songs are a bit lenghty. All in all, slightly above average and worth a spin.

*Only release to feature R.U. Dead? guitarist Gero Schmitt.

1 comment:

  1. Purulent Bowel Erosion? Yikes: I hope my doctor never tells me I have that.