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Not quite as good as "Reduced to Ashes" - 90%

Blood_Debt, November 18th, 2008

“Crown of Souls” marks the sixth full length studio release by Deeds of Flesh. I find this album quite comparable to their previous release, “Reduced to Ashes,” though “Crown of Souls” falls short on a few fronts. This album preserves the technical, chaotic, yet memorable type of song structure I absolutely love from “Reduced to Ashes,” but the songs just seem to lack some of the variation and creativity. Basically what I mean by this is sometimes I find myself getting a little bored halfway through a song and wanting to progress to the next track.

This being said, “Crown of Souls” is still an exemplary piece of brutal death metal. The songs are well written and the production is relatively clean (especially compared to “Trading Pieces” and “Inbreeding the Anthrophagi.”) Instrumentation is tight and locks in together precisely, creating the amazing sound qualities that Deeds of Flesh has come to represent. Most individual tracks are recognizable (after a few listens anyways,) and song structure is pretty coherent and flows as well as brutal death metal can.

What this album does better than possibly any other Deeds of Flesh album is the creation of a dark, sinister and evil atmosphere. This feeling is difficult to represent in such a technical form of music, but “Crown of Souls” pulls it off almost perfectly, not sacrificing the technical merit of any track for the sake of atmosphere.

Standout tracks are “Crown of Souls,” “This Macabre Fetish,” “Crimson Offering,” and “Caught Devouring”

Crown of Crap - 20%

globaldomination, September 2nd, 2008

Ugh. Why do people like this album? I doubt even the biggest fan of BROOTAL death metal could tell the difference between tracks 5 and 6 on this slab of headache-inducing clatter.

Yes, Deeds of Flesh kick out the relentless jams on “Crown of Souls.” Do you like tick- tocky drums, buried guitar riffs, subterranean vocals, and slam riffs? Then oh baby, do I have the disc for you. If you’re like me and you prefer a little differentiation here and there, look away. Stare into the middle distance. Imagine yourself somewhere else. Or even listening to something else. Ahhh – you’ve got Demonoid in the ole CD player instead. Another great death-thrash riff! Wonderful. Some discernible lyrics? Yep, they’re sweet. And the production – quite balanced. But then the metronome drums pull us back into reality, and the fantasy comes crashing down around you – you’re STILL listening to “Crown of Souls.” Damn.

As for a comparison band, think Dying Fetus last decade. Minus the dry but discernible production, dual vocal attack, and subversive lyrical content. The difference between “Crown of Souls” and an album like “Killing on Adrenaline” is that “KOA” can be put on the in background without making you angry, whereas when you are halfway through with “COS” your entire being will long to lunge at the music-playing device and disconnect the speakers.

But so many people love this stuff, so let’s try to find out why. The lyrics are not half-bad; we got some Mayans sacrificing people, and some cannibal dude eating people, a sword being run through some people, and other deep thoughts. The cover art and Viking picture on the disc tray are both cool. The bald singer guy looks suitably pissed. “Hammer Forged Blade,” has a funny sword noise throughout. And may I say that the song “Forced Attrition” has some good groove to it. I’m running out of positives here…oh, and everyone can play very fast. But a fast band does not a good band make.

So now I see the easy way to tell most American DM from European DM – brutality for brutality’s sake vs. “atmosphere.” While I do like a lot of death from this side of the pond, Deeds of Flesh is out of the lineup like a baseball player who lost both arms in an accident. Derivative and ultimately boring, this crown of crap is one you can avoid wearing. Put on a hat of Hypokras instead. Or a cap of Cryptopsy. Or a bonnet of Bloodbath. Ok, I’ll stop.

2 Tick Tocks out of 10.

Originally posted on:

Addictingly brutal. - 94%

orphy, October 29th, 2005

For anyone who's listened to Deeds of Flesh before, they know what to expect: high quality brutal death metal that's full of twisting riffs, lightning fast and precise drumming, and overall excellent song writing. There 2005 offering "Crown of Souls" easily lives up to all these qualities and then some.

Starting off with a heart beat, the album then bursts into it's awesome title track. The riffs are twistingly brutal, full of tremolo picking and brilliant vocals. You can decipher the lyrics fairly well, which are written well too. We often get the double vocal attack from guitarist Erik Lindmark and bassist Jacoby Kingston. The listener will notice that often throughout the album. Sometimes it's hard to tell who's doing which vocals, because Jacoby and Mike seem to have fairly similar voices. Nonetheless, well done.

Another thing the listener shall notice right away is the really well done production. For modern brutal death metal, production should done clearly where all instruments can be heard, due to the technical nature of the music. Deeds Of Flesh did a great job producing this album, and prove they definitely know what they want. However, some fans may note that the snare drum is a lot higher sounding than usual. I actually enjoy this, because I find a lot of the time with brutal death metal is the snare is inaudible, and thus, the blast beats end up being rendered useless. Every part of the drums are highly audible. The bass drum is really high sounding too, but it only adds to the precisions of the music. The bass is really audible too, and not difficult to find.

Another stand out song on the album is the third track "Hammer-Forged Blade". The intro riff is brilliant, and will stick on you right away. That's what Deeds of Flesh does well - write riffs that stick. A problem facing the brutal death scene is lack of interesting riffs, whether it's due to the nature of the production or the nature of the music. Either way, Deeds of Flesh define this and Erik's complex riffing can be heard and enjoyed by all. The album ends with another stand out song, "Caught Devouring". It'll catch ones ears right away, and lead to enjoyment.

Simply put, brutal death fans of both new and old should definitely check out this album. Deeds of Flesh has been putting out quality releases for ten years now, and this is just another fine addition to their discography. Their atonal approach to brutal death has set the standard to pretty much all brutal death metal for roughly the past decade, and also proven why the band's self run label, Unique Leader Records, is highly respected to fans of brutal death.

Deeds of Total Fucking Violence! - 95%

chaossphere, June 10th, 2005

Fucking hell, they did it again! Deeds Of Flesh have pretty much set themselves up as one of the most consistent death metal bands in the entire history of the genre. Along with the likes of Incantation, Immolation and a handful of others, their entire discography is essential and reeks of greatness. Of course, their inhuman technicality and precision is often written off as boring by sniveling momma’s-boys who wipe their noses on their sleeves and don’t know how to wipe their own asses properly, but that’s life.

Crown Of Souls is essentially Reduced To Ashes Part 2, which in turn was essentially Mark of The Legion Part 2. Deeds have definitely settled into a comfortable niche with the current, highly stable three-piece lineup and proceed to whip out album after album of cold, highly skilled brutal death metal. The only emotion discernable here is really “YOU.DIE.NOW” - they don’t conjure up an evil atmosphere, it’s more like the calculating robotic single-mindedness of a highly focused psychopath going about his business of killing someone in an extremely messy fashion and leaving no evidence.

As usual, this is an awesome display of death metal violence. The drums pound away in all their triggered glory (although this time the snare is sometimes almost too highly tuned, pinging away with that annoying tin-can PING sound on a few songs, while elsewhere it sounds perfect), the guitar/bass tandem rips out riff after riff with nary a concern for such frivolities as hooks or subtlety – this shit is designed to stomp on your head, not lull you into a comatose state. All the while, Erik and Jacoby’s dual vocal attack drives home the hammer in a mind-numbing display of growling and shrieking. Overall, if you liked the last 2 albums (or any of the three before, for that matter) you’ll derive a great deal from Crown Of Souls, and if you’re a homo, this won’t turn you straight.