Saturday, May 22, 2010

Fleshgrind - Murder Without End

Fleshgrind - Murder Without End
2004, Olympic/Century Media

+ | An interesting guitar sound, both raw, crisp, carbonized, etc. and extremely clear, highlighting the rhythmic crunch (this band's main feature) + the little trills and melodic fragments which are appended to the end or beginnings of rhythmic riffs. Clear, loud cymbals, a nice production...which of course only accentuates, in the end, the utter lack of originality on display here. An adequate, working class, pedestrian use of second guitar harmonies which try to stretch the melodic range of the material and ultimately fail. Nice use of an echoing horror theme or keyboard motif in the beginning of the album, as a short intro, and then between the songs instead of just silence - it's a four-note theme that distantly evokes Badalamenti.

- | As mentioned above, absolutely zero originality. Zero songwriting flair, no real memorable riffs, song segments, bridges, transitions, etc. Very limited range in the vocals, which leads to stagnation and listener boredom. When 2nd guitar harmonies are used they appear as vanilla, stale NWOSDM derivatives that don't fit the rest of the music. Songs are almost identical in format and surface sound/appearance. What seems to be typical gore/horror metal cliches in lyrics. People [idiots, the deaf, and sycophants] are comparing this to "older metal" as if all "older metal" was the same type of music...what this means is that Fleshgrind can be compared to earlier, less innovative bands who also didn't have any original ideas.

Advertising | "The Chicago-based Fleshgrind have returned after a three-year hiatus with their most volatile offering to date. Murder Without End is a savage ten-track unrelenting extreme metal assault that will mercilessly beat you to death." [Unrestrained magazine, issue 23, page 27]

Response | "three-year hiatus" - self imposed? no money? day jobs? lack of ideas? disillusionment? three years of supposedly working and this is what they come back with? | "most volatile offering to date" - the band is in a bad position if this is their best album, and why is it an offering? to whom? a sacrifice to what god? the deity of public approval? | "mercilessly beat you to death" - more like "bore you to death", or at least "bore you until you erase the mp3s to make room on your hard drive".

In a recent interview, a member of this band mocks Morbid Angel, arguably the most innovative, imaginative, and creative death metal band of all time, for using their imagination outside of the artificially limited lyrical boundaries that Fleshgrind would like to see imposed on music. They obviously have a taste for self-inflicted irony. [Metal Maniacs, Vol. 21, Issue 2, February 2004, page 75].