Wednesday, 25 July 2012

DEEDS OF FLESH - Trading Pieces (1996)

01  Carnivorous Ways
02  Born Then Torn Apart
03  Trading Pieces
04  Hunting Humans
05  Impious Offerings
06  Acid Troops
07  Deeds Of Flesh
08  Erected On Stakes
09  Chunks In The Shower
10  Blasted
11  Outro

Deeds of Flesh is a four-piece death metal band from Los Osos, California, USA. They were formed in 1993 by Jacoby Kingston (bass/vocals), Erik Lindmark (guitar/vocals) and Joey Heaslet (drums) and are still active to this day. They founded their own label, Unique Leader Records, which has since become home to a number of other death metal bands from around the world. 'Trading Pieces' is the first full-length studio release by the band. It was released in July 1996 via Relapse Records.

This debut has pretty much all the ingredients that would later define Deeds Of Flesh's sound; sinister, often atonal tremolo-picked riffing, sudden time and meter changes, and relentless blast beats with double bass footwork that never seems to let up (including that "triplet blast" beat they make frequent use of, found here on "Blasted"). But there are small differences. The guitar tone is perhaps a bit tinnier (probably because the mids are scooped as much as possible, in keeping with the traditions of brutal death metal), yet it compliments the music and definitely accentuates this disc's other, fairly unique traits.

Erik Lindmark's vocals are of a fairly standard deep, guttural variety - enough so that you often can't decipher the lyrics, but never to the point where he begins to sound more like a pig or a cricket or whatever other animals some death metal bands tend to shove behind the mic these days. The dual vocals aren't made much use of, and there are some questionable sounding sections, particularly in "Carnivorous Ways", but they still add to the music rather then simply grunting along. The recording quality isn't the clearest, but this music isn't supposed to have crystal-clear production, needs to be a tad muddy, and that's what it is.

Overall, a competent first effort from a technical perspective, but this album still showed plenty of room for improvement. Clocking in at a mere thirty minutes, this album is a decent slab of 90s brutal death metal that probably doesn’t get the credit it deserves (for the drumwork at least). The stand-out tracks here are; "Trading Pieces", "Acid Troops" and "Blasted".

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