Thursday, January 23, 2014

Deeds of Flesh: Portals to Canaan (2013)

Finally Doing the Deed

Review by Metallattorney. He is the law.

There are so many bands that I hear good things about that I keep meaning to check out. The problem is I often simply do not have the time. It is kind of depressing sometimes. Deeds of Flesh was one of those bands. The band has been around for about twenty years now and I just have not gotten around to them. Their albums are typically well-reviewed, but it is just hard to listen to everything.

When I saw this album art, I knew I had to get it this time. Deeds of Flesh is one of a number of bands to combine brutal death metal with a fair amount of technicality. I would not go so far as to call them a technical brutal death metal band, because their sound is so much more organic than that. There is enough technicality in the riffs and progressions to keep things from being too dumbed down, but not so much that it takes away from the music and becomes extremely difficult to listen to. The band is far more similar to groups like Spawn of Possession, Psycroptic, and Origin, than Brain Drill. The songs are complex, but they are actually songs.

The songs on here are typically longer and filled with tons of riffs, some occasional solos and swirling guitar leads, and deep, guttural vocals. There is the occasional odd moment, such as the bizarre effects toward the end of "Entranced in Decades of Psychedelic Sleep". I am not even sure what was being used there, whether it was a vocal effect or some type of keyboard/guitar instrument. I can not even describe it other than to say it sounded like a mechanical buzzing. There is also the introduction to "Celestial Serpents", which sounds like an otherworldly communication to Earth. But strange moments like that are few, yet they add a little bit of color to what is otherwise a fairly typical, slightly technical brutal death metal album.

The songs are mostly sci-fi/horror driven, as clearly shown by titles like "Xeno Virus", and "Hollow Human Husks." "Rise of the Virvum Juggernaut" features samples of dialogue from "The Thing", one of my favorite movies, and is otherwise about an alien creature. The music fits in with the theme quite well.

It took me quite a while before finally checking out Deeds of Flesh, but I am glad I finally got around to it.

THE VERDICT: I give this album 4 out of 5 stars.

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