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Fleshwrought > Dementia / Dyslexia > Reviews
Fleshwrought - Dementia / Dyslexia

Fleshwrought - Dementia/Dyslexia - 90%

killard, October 18th, 2011

I'd like to start off by saying the line-up of this project completely took me by surprise. I mean, here you have Jonny Davy, the vocalist of Job For a Cowboy. A band that started out as every deathcore kid's favourite band and quickly evolved into the skillful death metal powerhouse that they are today. Sounds like its going to be an average/solid death metal album going by that alone, right?

Ah, not so fast! There's still one other person on this record. Navene Koperweis, the drummer of the highly-acclaimed progressive 3-piece Animals as Leaders, handles ALL instruments on the record. Before hearing of this record I was actually unaware that Navene even played guitar, let alone being good enough to play the technical guitar mastery that appears on this album. His playing is chock-full of very fast moving riffs and turnarounds, guitar solos that successfully bridge the elusive gap between typical metal shredding and soulful melody, and to top it all off, very tasteful breakdowns/grooves that aren't at all generic.

Now onto the actual music...

The album opens with the track "Mental Illness" which starts off with an "electronic glitch" sound (probably made with a heavily processed guitar) before going into a riff and drum pattern that wouldn't be so out-of-place on a Meshuggah album. Davy's vocals on this song (on all of them, for that matter) are similar to his performance on Ruination, JFAC's 2009 album, although they are noticeably better and fit surprising well with the music. The rest of the track follows suit for the most part, technical death metal riffs that would make Muhammed jealous and drumming that could send Tomas Haake back to the practice room.

The third track, "Programming the Herds", is another standout track that deserves to be addressed specifically. This song is, for the most part, quite similar to the rest of the album (see last sentence of the previous paragraph) save for one crucial point. The solo. But wait, that's no guitar. Is that...a SAXOPHONE?! ON A METAL ALBUM?!

Yes, yes it is. And it fits perfectly with the backing riffs and even moreso when the guitar joins in unison. I'm not sure who plays it (my money's on Yakuza's Bruce Lamont) but it's simply perfect!

There's not really too much more to say about the album that I haven't already talked about. There are some interesting electronic sections interspersed with the metal content. Several of the tracks feature underlying melodic bass solos (a BIG plus.) On the final track "Final Nausea" there were many riffs that made me, as a musician in a band that I contribute songwriting to, really take notice as to how creative and original they were yet still managed to be brutal AND melodic at the same time.

All in all, this is a top-notch progressive death metal album. I would highly recommend it to any fan of AAL and even JFAC fans, but also people that dig Gorguts, Necrophagist, Meshuggah, Gojira, or PIg Destroyer. Or just any fan of very creative, highly skillful, metal music in general.

Jonny Davy's Failed Redemption - 20%

MutantClannfear, August 4th, 2010

I know Jonny Davy gets a LOT of shit in the metal community, considering that he's the man who invented the pig squeal. However, would you give him another chance, if he was backed by a technical death metal band instead of a deathcore band? That is why we have Fleshwrought, Jonny Davy's side project. Teaming up with the live drummer of progressive metal band Animals as Leaders, Navene Koperwies, he creates a sound that is technically and strictly great, but musically, boring as fuck. I'm a fan of Job for a Cowboy and even on Genesis I thought that it was superb, so here we have a man who's even MORE talented behind his instruments than JFAC. Fleshwrought plays an odd type of music. I'd call it... progressive cybergrind. It's almost redundant, but that's the best way to describe this.

The album starts with the short song "Mental Illness". It basically sums up the album in a nutshell: mid-tempo prog mixed with the occasional quick triplet or stacattos that cybergrind use frequently. The music can feel a bit empty at times, but the riffs are still highly addictive. Next, we have a longer song, "Inner Thoughts". It's more progressive and less cybergrind-ish, and here we are greeted by Davy's vocals again. He is still using his signature screams from Ruination, so if you hated those, you might want to stay away. However, this time around he's making them a lot less open at times, and they sound strangely constricted. Not a big problem, just nitpicking. The next song, "Programming the Herds", starts with a sorrowful techno intro, and then we head into the song. This song is basically the same as the last with the riffs slightly changed and the vocals different. Basically, they're indistinguishable. The letdown of the last song seems to be exacerbated by "Weeping Hallucinations". The intro is cyber-influenced, which seems to be the only place this band truly excels, but then they go back into their proggy whatever. Well, it had potential. By the fourth song I had gotten the notion that this was simply Navene Koperwies wanting to make a solo project, and Jonny Davy got bored and tagged along for the ride. I'll explain why later.

But wait! Another good song! "Conceptual Flesh" brings the magic back to this album (if only for a second), probably because it's less proggish and more flat-out death metal. It is probably the song that most intensely brings Job for a Cowboy to mind. Sadly, it's hardly over two minutes long, and then we get to the song "State of Desolation", which has a kickass intro, but it flies out of the ears after a few seconds and from there it goes on the random prog trip that is, ironically, just as forgettable as tracks 2, 3 and 4. Nowhere does this song shine, no matter how many times it picks up tempo. And - get this - the song actually goes into a BREAKDOWN 3/4 of the way in. I know Navene didn't come up with that... Anyway, then we have the throwaway track, no vocals at all, that's titled "Dyslexic Interlude". Really? Myspace bedroom bands, here's some advice: don't make any "interlude" songs. It may look clever, but all it proves is that you were too lazy to make an actual song to fill that place. The next song ("Self-Destructive Loathing") shows promise, but then we have to remember that this band apparently can't hold on to a riff to save its life, and thus everything is unexpected, but not in a good way. You'll find yourself swimming through wankery to get to the cyber parts and the good riffs. The song actually has a bit of melody (more than the rest of the album), but even that's easily forgotten.

The next song is - take a guess - unmemorable. Same old tempo changes, same old prog, same old growls, same old screams. The actual elements are unique, but compact them into one album and they lose their magic. Later in the song, we get a good riff that actually lasts for more than 20 seconds (!) but the song is over after that. The final song is up next: "Final Nausea". All the riffs before the vocals start are either as adamant as grease, or boring. Thing is, the same applies to all the riffs after the vocals arrive too.

What the fuck? I like Jonny Davy (he's probably in my top 3 favorite singers, actually), but this is NOT what I'd expect of him. The music played by Navene is much too repetitive, and Jonny's vocals do not fit on prog at all. Do I need to get into the "ice cream and barbecue sauce are both good, let's mix em!" talk again? These two men are great at music, but they aren't compatible. Also, there is not one song that had any bit of solidity at all. There's no real motion, there's no real destination, there's no real point. It's like DragonForce, minus the solos (oh wait, that equals zero...i made a funny, hurr hurr), plus riffs that sound like solos. Overall, if guitar wankery gets you off, You'll love this. Otherwise, borrow the disc or get a torrent, get the tracks "Mental Illness" and "Conceptual Flesh", and step away from the Fleshwrought of this band.