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Within 15 seconds, Flesh Made Sin’s intentions are clearly signalled as the first high paced riff kicks off ‘Crowned In Torment’, and begins 40 minutes of thrashing mania. Whether that is an endorsement or not, however, is quite clearly the question.
Little to no deviation throughout the album may be a problem for some fans, especially seeing as this album is hugely derivative of Slayer, Bathory, Kreator et al, even going as far as dedicating the album to Quorthon. Indeed, reviewing this album back when it was released would have seemed like rather an onerous task, given the glut of half-arsed blackened thrash back then. However, I am writing this in 2009, and the waters are a bit less stagnant with albums of this style, so it’s a lot easier to look at this album objectively.
The title track kicks off with a riff that would not sound out of place on an ‘Reign In Blood’, a good thing in itself, but unfortunately they proceed to play an alternating pattern between this riff and a similar one for two minutes, which gets very annoying, especially being as mid-paced as it is. A good comparison would be the intro to ‘Jesus Saves’, but not cut off at exactly the right moment like Slayer did. The track continues with its Slayerisms, with another section sounding exactly like ‘Altar Of Sacrifice’! Luckily, after the tedious intro, this fact and other saving graces – for instance, the excellent soloing – stop the intro causing your ears to recede into themselves too much.
The guitar sound in the production is well executed, sounding crisp, yet retaining that bit of mud that stops it from sounding like everything wrong with modern metal. Also on the positive side, the vocals are well executed, and not too high nor too low in the mix. Sadly, my praise for the production ends here. The bass is almost lost in the mix, and the drum sound is woefully tinny.
If you look at my other reviews, you’ll notice a trend in my perpetual dislike for lyrics – I haven’t yet reviewed an album in which I’ve enjoyed the lyrics. This trend continues with ‘Dawn Of The Stillborn’. There are two examples that I will cite – firstly in opener ‘Crowned In Torment’, the rules of writing lyrics for this sort of thing are strictly abided by, and unfortunately, they could have come straight off an early Slayer release – ‘Life’s ritual of sodomy / A dedication to the end / Self-massacre is purity / All gates are open to descend’, and, later on, on ‘Ritual For The Dead’, it descends to trying-to-shock-mum territory – ‘Deadly is the game that attracts me / Deadly is the power of my craft / Mutilating bodies, dissecting cunts and dicks / [Let them] fuck without the body taking part [dead incest]’. Profound, I’m sure. And whilst the shock-value may have had an effect on ‘Severed Survival’, let me remind you, this was released 15 years on.
I am becoming aware that I have focused too heavily on this album’s shortcomings, when in fact, it is a perfectly decent, if derivative, piece of blackened thrash, sure to cause headbanging wherever they choose to play live. However, don’t expect miracles, and don’t expect that this band will be transcending a la Enslaved any time soon. If nothing else, though, it will at least make you want to dig out ‘Blood Fire Death’, ‘Pleasure To Kill’ and the rest.
Long have you been escaping from our reach, oh brutal thrash metal, and yet still you return to us. Flesh Made Sin is a new band on the scene, for sure, but they know their part of the work. This is the Demolition Hammer of modern thrash, here!
Goddamit this rocks!
Ok... let's see... how does this sound like? Well we got the fast drumming simmilar to Demolition Hammer, the riffing simmilar to Slayer, Kreator, Destruction, and Possessed, and the vocals simmilar to Flesh Made Sin.
All in all a innovative solution without actually being a copy, paste band to any of those mentioned above.
The songs are all a good mix of brutality and technique, with interesting tempo changes and even more interesting drumming. And whats even better, the songs are never boring, even when they last for 6 minutes. Speaking of 6 minute songs... they rule. They actually don't bother with stupid interludes, melodic parts, or some shitty riffs, or silence, they simply rock your guts out with style!
Highlights include: Dawn of the Stillborn(6 mins of pure thrash, something every thrasher loves), Crowned In Torment and The Cleansing. Though every song here is a complete winner.
Waiting for the sky to fall on your head? I hope not. BUY. THIS. NOW.