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Welcome Back, Deeds Of Flesh - 95%

brutalityobscene, July 10th, 2013

Here we have the 2013 release "Portals To Canaan" by the mighty Deeds Of Flesh, a band that I have followed (and at times forgotten about) since 1995's "Gradually Melted" EP. Their lack of progression throughout the 2000's did leave me a little bored with them, but as far as over-the-top technicality and brutality are concerned, Deeds of Flesh will always be at the top of my list along with the granddaddies of techdeath Suffocation. I should be honest and say that this is actually their first release I have heard since 2003's "Reduced To Ashes"

The albums starts with the song "Amidst the Ruins," opening with a great build-up that leads into a grinding frenzy that does not let up until the album's conclusion. The excellent production and always top-notch performance left me in jaw-dropped ecstasy, but the biggest surprise is the fact the their music is much less "math" oriented (I guess that would be the best way of putting it) and much more flowing with well written songs and catchier, "simpler" riffs. I'm not too sure whether this has to do with the fresh line-up of Craig Peters (guitars) and Ivan Munguia (bass) or if it's simply the complete brainchild of veteran and founding member Erik Lindmark, but whatever they're doing, it's working out pretty well.

One thing that really stands out with this release are the swirling guitar harmonies and solos littered throughout as with songs like "Rise Of the Virvum Juggernaut" and "Xeno-Virus," the inclusion of which only strengthens the intensity of the album as a whole. A solid death metal vocal assault and tight percussion help as well.

My biggest complaint with "Portals To Canaan" would have to be some of the experimental sections that appear every now and again. The oddball outro to "Entranced In Decades Of Psychedelic Sleep," the ear-grating minute long intro to "Celestial Serpents," and the absolutely unnecessary instrumental track "Caelum Hirundines Terra / The Sky Swallows the Earh" could have all been left off the final product, and it would have made it a much more enjoyable album. These parts only equal to about 3 minutes of the album though, and that's the only reason for a 95% rating. Overall, it is a terrific album that I will be listening to on repeat for a long time.