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Sliced & Diced into Intricate Metallic Patterns - 95%

bayern, July 14th, 2017

Flaming Anger are one of the ten most important German thrash metal outfits, and by far the most obscure one of the batch. They were one of the pioneers who took part in the foundation of the technical/progressive thrash metal movement in their homeland alongside Mekong Delta, Deathrow, Living Death, and Sieges Even. Alas, unlike the other outfits, they never managed to release an official recording, and continued “roaming” the underground for another number of years producing the finest “fruit” from there. “Fall of Pnom Penh” is some of the most precious 23-min in the annals of German metal, technical thrash at its most shining best. Capitalizing on these incredible four compositions wasn’t an option, though, as the band lost the accumulated inertia until the appearance of the demo reviewed here.

Four years down the line the musical environment had changed quite a bit although there was still time for more technical/progressive exploits on the field, especially in Germany where a wave of young talents rose in the early-90’s to keep the grunge/groovy/alternative vogues at bay for another couple of years, and give the old school fans a few more cherished moments of retro thrash greatness. Ironically, out friends here again failed to bring their evocative style to the official release stage although these new four cuts were true gems every bit of the way. “Atomic Café” has an absolutely enchanting beginning with spastic hectic technical riffage which suddenly gets replaced by an atmospheric balladic passage before fast-paced thrashing puts an end to all the perplexity, the guys finding their stride with the bass featured quite prominently amongst the stylish labyrinthine rifforamas; more serious, darker progressive build-ups get introduced in the second half the leads providing the requisite melodic relief. The hectic overlapping riff-formulas from the previous demo are missing superseded by more controlled, more patient ways of execution those having more to do with the purer progressive metal formations.

The title-track puts the melodic configurations up front, but the speed/thrashing melee resumes on full-throttle with intricate, pounding interruptions amply served Wittke’s vocals becoming more emotional and more dramatic; expect smattering technical riff knots in the middle as well as brilliant melodic hooks those brought to life by an active participation of both the bass and the leads again. “Unreal Existence” “flirts” with more bizarre twisted decisions initially the instilled complexity recalling “Fall of Pnom Penh” quite a bit, and later on the delivery remains on the more puzzling side with more frequent time and tempo shifts, the guys unleashing a vast array of impressive guitar pyrotechnics, Wittke adding a more memorable chorus to the fray. “Interior” is a stupendous technical thrash instrumental the band creating one of the finest moments in their discography with a fantastic bouncy rhythm-section and dazzling mazey riff-formulas the latter rivalling the best from the works of Coroner and Deathrow; speedy “skirmishes” get interlaced with more elaborate layouts those accompanied by some of the best bass work heard on a thrash metal effort, with a whirlwind of vitriolic leads and more virtuous technicality wrapping on these 22-min of outstanding progressive/technical metal.

A grand scale entertainment all around, another small representation of the guys’ skills which they had been gradually revealing since the mid-80’s, releasing bits and pieces of their creative genius the latter reaching the peak on the mentioned “Fall of Pnom Penh”. After such a culmination the expectations from the demo here weren’t exceedingly big, but the band had made sure the level remained high, and this short effort is one of the undisputable highlights of said wave, another four numbers added to the guys’ short, but essential discography, keeping them up there with the finest who knew that with these obscure stalwarts around the competition would always be fierce…

Only if the band were a more regular presence on the scene, that is, which never became an option as the guitar player Marco Stutzer got distracted in the early-90’s with some of his former colleagues from the early Flaming Anger days, for the foundation of Frantic, another notable technical metal act with a bigger orientation towards the speed metal ways of execution. Once this outfit was history, the Flaming Anger saga became a headline again, and finally the coveted full-length saw the light of day. It was a logical elaboration on the more structured, more carefully calculated approach from the demo here blended with bits and pieces from the speed metal feats of Frantic, resulting in a fairly cool affair coming as an aftermath from the wave that had almost retired by that time. The band could have captured the old school resurrection campaign which began a few years later, but obviously the release of an album was all they wanted to see occur, and they terminated their endeavours shortly after. Any chances for a sequel to the Flaming Anger saga? Well, no such prospectives for the time being, but let’s keep our fingers crossed that at least this proverbial “Biosphere I” will resurface from somewhere one of these days…

Interesting technical thrash - 78%

UltraBoris, December 30th, 2002

This is an album that should definitely appeal to fans of later-era Death (especially Individual Thought Patterns)... it's much thrashier but the general ideas are very, very similar. Better executed, too, than Schuldiner and friends - imagine an ITP that doesn't trip over itself, with a bit of Atheist-first-album infulence too except not quite as fast.

We have four songs here, all of pretty similar quality, with Humanised (Humaniced?) being my personal favourite... "eight o'clock is panic hour!" The vocals take a bit to get used to, as they are very very accented, and not really shrieked or even yelled - he manages to convey aggression through his accenture.

Riffs, anyone? Riffs!! You like Death, or Coroner or Watchtower? You'll definitely like this one... the bass is very prominent in the mix and some of the time that carries the riff work - most of the time, it is thrash riff after thrash riff, with some pauses a la Watchtower (none of this halfthrash shit!) - quality stuff.