Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Nader Sadek: In the Flesh (2011)


There's one thing I don't quite get about Nader Sadek. The death metal project is "directed" by and named after Nader Sadek, a visual artist who works with extreme metal bands. I'm not sure, exactly, what kind of input he actually has, since he is not credited as playing any instruments or even writing the music.

In The Flesh
But I do get everything else. First of all, the music. If you like middle-period Morbid Angel, this will sound pretty familiar to you. Steve Tucker does the vocals and bass, and the music sounds a great deal like that time in MA's history. The heavy, dirty, old school death metal riffs are laid down by Blasphemer (of Mayhem fame), and fantastic drums by the legendary Flo Mounier (Cryptopsy).

Secondly, the lyrical and visual concept. It's all about oil, and modern society's destructive addiction to the substance. Death metal is known less for high concept or social commentary and more for zombies and misogyny. But if there's a real-life apocalypse-bringing social issue, it's oil, and that's a concept I can relate to. The concept is, in a word, brilliant.

Musically, the men on the instruments are as impressive as always, and the production is just the right level of raw. The album only offers four great songs, though, along with one filler ("Mechanic Idolatry"), an instrumental that's best viewed as merely an outro, and a handful of ambient tracks featuring industrial noise.

The Verdict: Nader Sadek play great death metal in the vein of mid-period Morbid Angel. There's nothing wrong with that. They spice it up with a high-minded lyrical concept that I think most of us can agree only death metal can do justice. Can you imagine how cheesy some indie rock band would sound trying to deal with the death of the world? It's a little short, but what's here is great. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

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