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Fiend - Misanthropic Flesh Experiences - 82%

Edmund Sackbauer, May 4th, 2020
Written based on this version: 2018, CD, Schattenkult Produktionen (Limited edition)

While I agree with most of what the other review here at MA as well as the others I found in the net are saying about “Misanthropic Flesh Experiences”, the swansong of German black metal act Fiend, I have the feeling that this record might be a tad underrated. German painted-by-the-numbers black metal this is, but done in a really solid way. The tracks here (bar the last two which had already been released as EP titled “Arctic Nights” in 2004) are the pinnace of their career, showing a certain kind of maturity by a band that has gained quite a bit of experience at this stage.

Fiend managed to deliver a very frosty and classic vibe and mood, thanks to the atmospheric guitar riffs. The feel inside is rather hostile and misanthropic, which is well compensated by the melancholy emitted from the other side. Tempo variations are thrown in for good measure, and you can expect anything varying from blasting furies, to groovier parts, to some slower patterns.

As well something enjoyable is the structure and the progression from one riff and melody bleeding into the next one, and then another, and then again…until certain pieces are repeated all over again, often with some subtle adoptions. This also proves that the rhythmic content is well structured and properly performed, and while overall there is a certain monotony inherent in this album, the songs fly by and are real fun. Take for example the title track, a bleak and dirty little gem of unholy black metal art.

The production is rough, and some might argue maybe too rough and not refined enough, but purists should be happy about it. This is not lo-fi or garage sound, and I for one think that “Misanthropic Flesh Experiences” comes with enough punch and grit. So have Fiend done anything better than any of their peers? Most certainly not. Is this album fun to listen to and worth adding to the collection? Hell yes.

Compiled Leftovers - 67%

TheStormIRide, June 17th, 2018

Fiend was a German black metal that was between 1999 and at least 2007, as the date the band actually split up is unclear at this point. The band released three demos and an EP during their time, never really garnering a lot of attention outside of the German black metal scene, though some members were involved with some more recognizable acts over the years: Myrkwid; Ewiges Reich; and Ulfsdalir, not a few. Misanthropic Flesh Experience was released in 2018, featuring five unreleased tracks from a recording session in 2007 and two tracks from a 2003 session. These tracks are finally seeing the light of day over a decade after they were recorded, thanks to Schattenkult Produktionen.

Those familiar with the band's final EP release shouldn't be very surprised by the first five tracks on this release, as these are done in a familiar fashion. Fiend's approach on these first five tracks are basically Germanic black metal by the numbers. A thick, filthy production is slathered over a wave of blasting drums, near-nonstop blazing tremolo riffing, and a filthy, snarled vocals. Everything moves forward in a pretty typical fashion, except the fifth track, which was the last of the newest material. Instead of a gnarly tear of fiery trems, it opts for a slow and ominous rumbling that ruminates from the depths, with strummed chords and a steamrolling back end. Despite being four years, and a few releases apart, the two tracks from the 2003 session are delivered in a similar, though the drums seem a touch more varied and nuanced than the unrelenting, pummeling barrage on the first tracks.

The tracks are decent, but there's really not a lot to point out, honestly. By the numbers German black metal is the order of the day. It's cool that Schattenkult dug these tracks out so they could see the light of day, as I guess there would be some interest if you worship at the throne of that dirty, stripped down German sound, but aside from niche subgenre diehards, there's probably not going to be a big audience for this. So Misanthropic Flesh Experience is cool for what it is, a collection of unreleased tracks from a near-forgotten German black metal band, but unless that statement stirs some type of primal reaction in your inner being you should probably just move along.