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The flames of Armageddon reincarnated. - 83%

hells_unicorn, May 15th, 2015
Written based on this version: 2014, Digital, Amputated Vein Records (Bandcamp)

Moscow has become fairly renowned for its growing community of brutal bands with a proclivity for slamming it up in a somewhat derivative fashion. But what is a bit less common is the notion of a band taking that illusive middle road between the super-technical character of the likes of 7 H. Target and the latest out of Abominable Putridity, versus the groovy simplicity of recent outfits like Necromorphic Irruption and Big End Bolt. Granted, this might imply to some that a hybrid approach comparable to aforementioned album The Anomalies Of Artificial Origin where the same exact duality of technique and groove are simply merged, but what is actually in view is taking an approach that is a bit more closely tethered to an older mode of brutality. Having been in existence since the late 1990s, Fleshbomb finds itself in the unique yet fitting role of taking modern brutality to a place not terribly common of late in their locale, namely the roots of the brutal style itself.

The album art that graces Reincarnated In Abomination in all its Armageddon-themed glory points to a time in the mid 1990s of death metal where gore and splatter themes were quite prominent but also often accompanied by remnants of death metal's occult mystique. The musical contents follows suit and ends up in an area not all the dissimilar from the high period of a more organic mode of brutality in Suffocation's Pierced From Within and Cryptopsy's Blasphemy Made Flesh, though reinterpreted with a present day production sound in line with this band's Moscow contemporaries. The vocal delivery has a bit more of a percussive quality rather than a series of elongated gurgles and squeals, but reaches similar depths of inhuman range as Matti Way does with Pathology. Guitar solo work fairly regular, but tends to follow more of a Cannibal Corpse formula of moderated mayhem of a semi-thrash metal flavor, which pales in comparison to the frequent and wild bass fills, busy tremolo riffing and insane drum work that finds itself pretty close to a perfect Flo Mounier emulation.

It should be kept in mind that while this album is moderated in a comparative sense when compared with the highly specialized character of present sectarian death metal styles, it is still a very intense listen. Barring a brief intro of impending evil with unintelligible chanting and the sound of machine gun fire in the background, there isn't really a moment of rest from the raging onslaught of carnage offered up. There are a small handful of down-tempo breakdowns that might pass for slam sections, but overall these songs tend to follow a frenzied, viciously atonal character with constant chaos between the drums and riffs, to speak nothing for the viciously raunchy bass sound that makes the respective riffs hit about three times has hard as normal. The entire album is basically a deluge of pure brutality, though a few particularly powerful highlights include the clear nod to early Cryptopsy of an opener "Compulsive Clitoridectomy", the blast saturated with occasional breakdowns "Daemonic Extraterrastrial Infestation", and the guitar lead happy and jarring "Omnicide".

It wouldn't be much of a stretch to dub this one of the better things to come out of the brutal style in Russia in 2014, between the strong execution and the refreshingly different approach, it really closes the deal. In a broader historical context it's more of a modern rehash of things that were all but perfected stylistically by around 1995, but it is definitely a fun album that manages to avoid becoming monotonous while maintaining a heavily consistent sound. It has a slight retro character to it while avoiding the nostalgia that comes with revival bands or tribute outfits that compose original material, and it likewise exhibits a current day sense of brutality without the excesses of many other bands in the throws of modernity. In short, it's a well rounded affair in death metal extremeness, if that makes any sense.

Hell Yes - 85%

HellFire Dragon, November 15th, 2014

So, I find myself checking out the new album by Fleshbomb. So let's take a peek and see what the contents of this album has to offer, shall we?

The first thing that strikes me, apart from the awesome album artwork, is once the intro finishes is that this has some pretty damn impressive guttural vocals, in this case I'm reminded of Abominable Putridity, vocals on Amputated's first album and other similar acts. And that is, in my opinion, how brutal death metal vocals should be, nice and raw and guttural. Next on the list is that the guitars are used rather well here creating a nice shredding effect while maintaining a raw and not too over-produced sound. Heck, there's even a few good, although somewhat brief solos in "Reincarnated in Abomination".

Production of the drums is better than average, but could have been a bit better refined and punctuated, not least when listening to the snare, it gets pretty muffled during the moments in songs where they're going for the usual all out attack on the snare, double bass and ride cymbal. Though on the other hand, when the snare is used/attacked less, it becomes easily audible over the rawness of the guitar, bass and guttural growling vocals.

I'm also impressed to see that the bass is used nicely and is clearly audible over the rest of the instruments, and heck, there's even a few extra rapid bass licks that certainly grab your attention when the other instruments take a very brief pause. This nicely punctuated bass gives it an extra layer of heaviness which is sometimes lost on bands who put so much effort into their albums only to fall short on emphasising the bass.

The style of this album is a nice mix between a rapid workout on all the instruments to occasionally adding a slower sequence that you can safely head bang to without breaking your neck. The only major criticism I have of this album is that it is not as brutal as I imagined it would be, i mean come on, just look at the album artwork, it's epic, it really gets your expectations high doesn't it? This does not mean that this album is not a good release, far from it, I just feel that the production could have been somewhat better and the music itself could have been more brutal. But, overall, I like this album, and I would recommend this to Abominable Putridity fans as this seems to be in the same league as "Anomalies of Artificial Origin", take a listen and see for yourself.