Black metal and tech death: two great tastes that taste great together. Let’s jam the new Fleshmeadow!
- Fractal Universe has a teaser out for their upcoming album Engram of Decline. Awesome as their debut EP was, this sounds like it’s going to surpass it in every respect. Engram of Decline comes out on April 14th via Kolony Records.
- Virulent Depravity has a sweet new tune out, “Beyond the Point of No Return.” It has a pretty strong Incurso-era Spawn of Possession vibe to it, but with a proggy twist in its bizarre ascending theme. Assuming the rest of the album follows suit, it’ll certainly make up for not having new music from those dudes in the past few years. Fruit of the Poisoned Tree is out April 7th.
- If you’re still craving some dissonant death metal after that Sunless release, you can look forward to the newest from Ingurgitating Oblivion in early April. In the meantime, I suggest giving their previous album a listen if you’re in the mood for some doom-oriented weirdness.
- New Inanimate Existence material continues to trickle out, and it’s all sounding great so far. Very much looking forward to their next album.
As all your suggestions in yesterday’s Iron Reagan giveaway proved, mixing subgenres is a terrible idea and should never be done by anyone for any reason. Despite that, some people do it anyway, and even band ideas can yield good results. Thus, I present you Fleshmeadow, a blackened tech death band based out of Norway. Joking aside, it’s really cool to see two such diametrically opposed styles of music joined together successfully, and Umbra does just that.
Now, to be fair, it might be more accurate to call Fleshmeadow a “black and tech death” band; while they do employ the use of both styles in every song, much of it is presented leaning far heavier in one direction or the other as opposed to being mixed together throughout. The good news is that even when they’re distilled down to their constituent components, the band is really good at both. You want blasting over diminished and harmonic minor triads? There’s plenty to go around. Spidery scale runs that climb the fretboard with ease and grace? They’ve got those, too. The transitions between these distinct parts are smooth and clean as well, no jarring segues or out-of-place riffs whatsoever. I can’t promise any Satan or threat of robot uprising in the lyrics, but it sounds like the songs are about otherworldly monstrosities of some sort, playing perfectly into the aesthetic. All the ingredients are here; they’re just not always mixed together.
When they do decide to bring it all together, the band is at the absolute top of their game. The speed and aggression are compounded multiple times over, and there’s a burning intensity to these parts that even the rest of the album can’t quite match. The opening and closing tracks, as well as the end of “The Bloodbath of Birth” showcase this the best; they’re all driven forth by atmosphere and meaty riffing in equal measure, usually at the same time. It might sound like an odd combination, but they make it work; it reminds me a bit of the last Rivers of Nihil album in that respect. I wouldn’t say the two bands sound similar to each other, but that they take a like-minded approach to songwriting.
Regardless of who they may or may not sound like, Fleshmeadow are extremely good at what they do. Whether they’re doubling down on a singular aspect of their core sound or playing it all at once, it’s never dull or contrived. Umbra is a relentless powerhouse of a record in a small subgenre, and Fleshmeadow has me excited for where it could go in the future. You can follow Fleshmeadow on Facebook, and they are currently searching for a drummer; hit them up if you think you’ve got the chops! Umbra is out now and can be purchased at the Bandcamp links above. That’s all for this week, so until next time,
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