Deeds of Flesh
Reduced to Ashes
posted on 6/2003 By:
The dudes of Deeds return in what seems like the blink of an eye from their last recording and supporting tour for Mark of the Legion. With the arrival of Reduced to Ashes comes a few changes, all for the better. Firstly is the much improved production that allows the kick drum to breathe a little as opposed to older Deeds material that sounded rather restricted in terms of volume and power. Some people are going to dislike the snare sound but I like it. It's a classic Deeds characteristic that needs to stay w/ them or it's just not going to sound like Deeds. Secondly, I notice that Erik Lindmark has decided to focus a little more on the riffs he churns out, letting them establish themselves and "settle in" to a greater degree and define the songs. I love older Deeds as well but you gotta admit that it's like a Texas tornado 90% of the time. Lindmark will come up w/ some of the most brutal riffs, but they're only played once or twice in the entire song, then proceeding back to total chaos which has made a few of their songs just plain unlistenable for me. Reduced to Ashes maintains trademark Lindmark technikillity and chaos, but the added focus on repeating the killer riffs more than twice adds weight and solidarity, allowing the songs to sink in rather than blast over the top of your head. And the third change is the wider range of vocals. It's gotta be Jacoby adding those super-gut belches and sub-screams that circle around Lindmark's straight ahead blast furnace barks. A dual vocal attack that obviously complements each other.
What initially caught my attention about this band is their ability to project total power & strength not only through their lyrics and song titles, but because their songs are so strong, complex, and disciplined at the same time. They no doubt give off an atmosphere of medieval conquest and it's fully energizing to say the least. It's like an entire empire of sorts. Never a weak moment, even the slower parts have veins bulging to the point of complete blowout. Lindmark is a fucking fretmaster and obviously has every concept of palm-muting down pat. His speedy harmony overlays give a "rubbing" feel at times, when the notes create a chord that doesn't exactly "fit", and gives off an eerie as hell feel. A good example of this is the main chorus in "Infested Beneath the Earth". I don't know what the hell is going on w/ the specific notes and chords there but it's fuct up and it sounds fantastic. "Human Trophies" starts w/ a hulking riff supported by confusing cymbal and snare explosions, and gains speed and power as Lindmark exploits the riff w/ 2000mph tremlo picking. Then at 1:10 the sledge hits the head w/ a severely moshable chunk break. "Banished" is another example of the power aura that Deeds gives off effortlessly. Stop & start tremlo riffing at it's finest. I feel like I'm standing at the peak of the mountain overlooking my minions during a thunderstorm wearing my grizzly skin cape, steel-toed nut-crushers, and my medieval battle helmet while pointing my blacksmith forged diamond-tipped flesh lacerator and swinging my mace back and forth instilling respect, fear and obedience among the commons. No, this is not power metal. It is brutal technikill death metal w/ a total atmosphere of POWER. "Disinterred Archaic Heap" reminds me of just about every song that Suffocation did on Pierced From Within, because at 2:10 it employs that "harmony" where it sounds like the guitar on the left speaker is out of tune w/ the one on the right. It sounds awesome. The galloping kick helps to break out the metal grimace. There's so many rewind points on this disc that I lost count. And what better way to end this record than w/ a 12 minute display of strength and dominance. This is "Endurance". This song morphs at so many different points, each one a smooth and skilled transaction. A "power tour" of sorts to bring forth the greatest elements and strong points Deeds has to offer.
Unfortunately it seems that Deeds has remained rather low profile in the metal masses and for the talent they have that is nothing short of an atrocity. Cannibal Corpse had the brains to take them out on tour last year, and after seeing them I can tell you that their stage performance is pretty much an exact replica of what you hear on the album. A lot of kids just kind of stared while seeing them for the 1st time and that's alright because it takes many listens to absorb, follow, and appreciate the product of Deeds of Flesh. Plus, after meeting them at the Ohio Death Fest I can also tell you that they are some of the nicest guys in metal and appreciate their fans to the fullest extent. I continue to be "shocked & awed" by the music that comes from Unique Leader. Not content w/ signing bands that do the same ol', UL puts the most skilled and brutally extreme bastards up front and center. With new albums from Deeds, Severed Savior, and the mindblasting Spawn of Possession, I'm going to have my hands and head full for quite some time to come.
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