Thy Flesh Consumed
posted on 12/2009 By:
Death metal's second and third tiers are filled with murky waters. Also-rans and upstarts seem to float in a sea of muck, rudderless, until the wind blows them along the shores of the current trends. Two options are particularly hot right now: Chunky, bare-bones and "old-school," or slicked-back, over-stylized, and undercooked. Bands usually latch on to one of these and set the autopilot, content to run on recycled fumes 'til they crash--silently--along the reef.
It's refreshing, then, when a relatively unheralded band such as Thy Flesh Consumed sweeps in, punches you in the face with a truckfull of blackened death metal, and leaves without saying a word. There's no regard for or sub-subgenre claimstaking; well-being and sustainability are out the window, too. To them, such things are as trivial are as the trends that bind their peers. Unrepentant is the work of five dudes that just want to expel some hate, and simply don't give a fuck about anything else. It's a snapshot of humanity: ugly, seething, nihilistic.
Aesthetically, the band have few flaws.The tones are spot-on: crunch-wrenched guitars mesh (un)pleasantly with the drumming, and the result is a warm, bloody bath of death metal satisfaction. It's a slightly muffled, rounded affair, but not in a negative way--Unrepentant has that subterranean, late-90's edge to it that has largely been absent in the computerized age. It's an organic, northern DM sound: working-class, violent, and decidedly vile.
That vibe carries the record, even as the songs blend into churning, churlish mass. There are few standout riffs, and those that do appear are quick to exit. The blackened vocals of Peter Mestre (also of Cephalectomy) are a highlight, but moreso due to their rapid, venomous delivery. Hooks are practically nonexistent. And, with time, the near-constant blastbeats become less relentless and more...incessant.
Admittedly, when the blood boils down, Unrepentant is a somewhat picayune offering. However, an underdog spirit permeates from its core, supplying a commendable tenacity--but not enough to garner repeated listens. Being their fourth album, Thy Flesh Consumed are unlikely to improve by leaps and bounds on future releases; but if these guys want to drop by every couple years, blast a hole in my face, and leave me to rot, I won't complain.
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