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Solid - 76%

Lustmord56, January 3rd, 2009

Review originally posted at http://www.teethofthedivine.com by Erik Thomas

In my line of work, I’m all about first impressions. I will generally make a snap judgment about a person and determine their veracity within about 30 seconds. Luckily, this does not apply to metal albums and reviews, because if I had simply relied on first impressions, Among Flies would have been album of the year.

With the Simon Bisely (DC and Marvel Comics) artwork and the simply fucking epic intro “Overture of the Maleficia” alone, Last House on the Left gave me a musical boner, however once the album gets going I came to realize that Among Flies was really just a very solid American melodeath/metalcore album with a stout production, decent riffs and solos and and not much else.

Like recent releases by say Adversary, Mirror of Dead Faces, A Breath Before Surfacing, The Classic Struggle and other recent similar releases, the back bone of LHOTL is the slicing style of The Black Dahlia Murder, with a dose of thrash, some keyboards and some heavy death metal breakdowns-all rendered with dual vocals (high pitched black scream and deep death metal roar), a razor sharp guitar tone and competent but hardly awe inspiring song writing. Still, like those releases, there’s nothing really wrong with the material, especially if you simply can’t get enough of this stuff.

That being said, the later stages of the album certainly do deliver the goods after a pretty by the numbers first half. Starting with the synths and solos that appear towards the solid climax of “Blackest Grain”, LHOTL just appear to be more “on” that the albums first 5 tracks. The title track has a sense of melodic urgency and a stern groove while the 6 and a half minute “Liath Loinneach” lurches and lopes with menace before an evil, almost black metal mid song tangent. The last two Wolf themed tracks are short bursts controlled aggression, with the beefy “”In the Name of the Wolf” and introspective instrumental “Lupus Occasus” providing fitting album closure.

Though doing nothing groundbreaking, LHOTL seem to be far more grounded in ‘real’ than their teeny, tight pants peers and more concerned with the music than their image, so I hope they continue to develop and maybe add a little more charac