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Now this is something I can get behind. Brutal death metal isn't a form of music that requires a dramatic amount of effort to compose, typically, so it's refreshing to see a band like Scent Of Flesh that's taking a bit more time on their compositions and not releasing thirty minutes of unnecessary breakdowns. While I'm not deeply well-versed with Scent Of Flesh's previous works, from what I've heard, 'Deform In Torture' is a serious step up from the previous couple albums, and stands as one of the better brutal death albums I've heard in a while.
The name of the game here, like with all music that I enjoy, is atmosphere. 'Deform In Torture' is a genuinely atmospheric brutal death metal album. You know, in a style so obsessed with brutality, shouldn't you generally see more artists that carry this concept into the atmospheric realm as well? Unfortunately, such bands are few and far between, but Scent Of Flesh shows that there really is such a style possible. The opening track 'Living But Stillborn' reminds me a lot of the incredibly dark, apocalyptic sound of Darkness Eternal, or perhaps of the grandiosity and melody of Vital Remains. Either way, those held chords in the beginning do much more to drive the album's quality up than an infinite number of slam riffs. Luckily, the atmosphere here isn't like it would be on a Nile record, constrained to a few select moments per song. Each riff on this LP has that warlike feel of Sweden's Aeon, with galloping open strings representing something familiar but strangely untapped in this genre. The very next track, 'At The Stake Of Mercy', continues on such a note, with its background choirs that manage to lack cheese and add a fantastic dynamic to the melodic sections of the song.
Such moments fill the CD, such as the melodic leads on 'Last Act Of Power' or the breath-catching breaks on 'Delusions Of Deity', which all work well in their unique ways to make this album seem even more epic and ambitious with each passing moment. No, 'Deform In Torture' never quite reaches the highs of a band like Darkness Eternal, but it comes damned close in parts, which is a stunning achievement for any artist. Scent Of Flesh understands that brutal is supposed to be a modifier, not a goal, and that melody can and should be used appropriately within the musical context, even in the most savage of compositions. After all, what else could make the ensuing blast beat more savage than the destruction of the fragile melody that preceded it?
'Deform In Torture' is a great album that I recommend to any fans of brutal death out there today searching for atmosphere as well as grotesquerie. This album is a great deal more ambitious and thoughtful than the average BDM album, and it would be a shame for it to go unnoticed.
(Originally written for http://www.vampire-magazine.com)