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Progress of machine intelligence. - 85%

Diamhea, September 25th, 2015

Down the iniquitous assembly line comes Lyfthrasyr's third industrial black/death amalgamation entitled The Engineered Flesh, a shoe-in for the collective playlist of fans of Myrkskog, Vesania, later Decapiated and to a lesser extent, Dimmu Borgir. The album is indeed a mechanized war machine as advertised, fusing a blast-centric blackened death armament with all manner of synthetic trinkets of terror. The end product isn't particularly idiosyncratic, but the aggression of the material certainly puts a show on worth sitting through 'til the end. This project is more or less the brainchild of one member (Aggreash), whose vision is funneled through Tomasz Janiszewski's quantized and inhuman drum performance, resulting in a final product worthy of a wide berth on a structural level alone. The gripping, dark miasma articulated by the programmed electronics does thread reasonably well throughout the metal constituent.

Lyfthrasyr are obviously not the only band working within this field, as the formula has plenty of potential and is worth exploring by deft musical minds. Aggreash is certainly a musician worthy of some admiration in this regard, composing all of the material by his lonesome. The collective opulence of the album is impressive with this taken into account, but this certainly serves as no handicap throughout. In many ways, I am reminded of Zyklon's World ov Worms, especially when Lyfthrasyr play up the industrial death slant that largely dominates the sound. This element is prevalent in tunes like "Evolution," which are (dare I say) catchy concerning the vocal patterns. The orchestrations are pretty dialed-down considering implementation, but are endearingly integrated. I would steer fans of later Septicflesh and Fleshgod Apocalypse elsewhere, as The Engineered Flesh is hardly the exhaustively bombastic display some might expect. Riffs are never tossed aside for sappy melodic posturing, resulting in an airtight yet suffocating atmosphere that defines the dystopian aesthetic attempted by so many acts.

Take "Mind Simulator," for instance, which opens with a murky dirge that actually reminds me of "Blood Hunger Doctrine" from Death Cult Armageddon, except the rest of the song doesn't suck. Terror and tension are both hardly at a premium throughout The Engineered Flesh, which fires off harried and surgical chugging alongside brooding pianos apropos to controlled chaos. This dichotomy results in an atmosphere that sounds eerily identical to Shade Empire's Intoxicate O.S., albeit with far stronger riffs. The additional use of the choral backings always sounds fresh here, bouncing starkly off of the choppy harsh vocals in "Preserved Identity." The guitar tone grinds like a rusty busszaw, staggering its way about the impressive genre-crossroads utilized by the band.

"Wisdom in the Loop" builds tension through well-utilized samples and comes to a head at the brooding and monolithic-sounding "Life Overdose." This seven-plus minute number serves as a convincing finality to the desperately bleak narrative. Lyfthrasyr really earned their stripes with The Engineered Flesh, making up for the directionless nature of their earlier material. The album showcases a very firm grasp on the various constituents employed to make the final product. Fans of industrial death/black metal should give this one a spin as soon as possible.