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Phidion - Flesh of the Forsaken - 84%

Spiner202, July 3rd, 2013

Hailing from one of the death metal capitals of the world, Sweden, Phidion are a band that are very transparent about their influences. Fans of Entombed, Carnage, Dismember, and all of the other classic old-school Swedish death metal bands will love “Flesh of the Forsaken”, as it is one of the most authentic sounding releases of recent years. This EP is six tracks of heavy, bludgeoning metal that will bring you back to 1990.

From the moment “Warzone” begins, you’ll hear what I suspect is the famed HM-02 distortion pedal. If Phidion aren’t using that pedal, then they have done a fantastic job of replicating that guitar sound. As you might expect, the riffs also capture that old-school sound. The drums are fairly mechanical sounding (particularly the snare), but that is the only weak point of the EP. Vocally, there is more variation than other records in this style. In addition to the standard death growl, this singer also makes use of a higher raspy scream that sounds not too far away from Corpsegrinder’s screams. The songwriting is very consistent, and sounds pretty much exactly like Entombed did on “Left Hand Path”. The only major difference is that some riffs have more of a thrash feel than a death metal one. “Slaves to Eternal Insomnia” is the thrashiest track, but you’ll notice quite quickly that the band only uses this as a short break from the tremolo picking and blast beats that frequent “Flesh of the Forsaken”. This EP isn’t all speed though. Phidion makes frequent use of those slow, grooving sections that Autopsy pioneered and later became the standard in Swedish death metal. There is just enough variation through the EP to keep things interesting without sacrificing any intensity or brutality.

Phidion are a band that has perfectly crafted the sound they love. There are hints of originality, but ultimately, this is an EP for those who loved that early 90’s period. It would be interesting to hear this band with better production, but it is by no means unlistenable. Pick this one up and you won’t regret it!

"Slaves to Eternal Insomnia"

Originally written for Skull Fracturing Metal Webzine.