Saturday, March 26, 2011

Fleshwrought - 2010 Dementia/Dyslexia

Band : Fleshwrought
Album : Dementia/Dyslexia
Release Year : 2010
Genre : Metal / Progressive / Experimental

Tracklist :
01. Mental Illness
02. Inner Thoughts
03. Programming the Herds
04. Weeping Hallucinations
05. Conceptual Flesh
06. State of Desolation
07. Dyslexic Interlude
08. Self-Destructive Loathing
09. Relevant Intoxication
10. Final Nausea
FLESHWROUGHT was born in 2003 when death/grind drummer Navene Kopperweis, who is best known for playing in the now defunct San Francisco Bay area grind band Animosity, and currently drumming in the instrumental group, Animals As Leaders, paired up with Nic Gauthier and made a demo at their friend’s house.

The album starts with a droning, mechanical, time-shifted guitar growl. Akin to the growls and grunts heard by the machines in Terminator: Salvation and the Transformer movies, it aptly bleeds into the snappy, march-like snare drum beats and matching staccato guitar chugs of the lead-off track, “Mental Illness.” Davy’s barked-growls and “only he can do that” guttural vocalizations come in and complete the ensemble. From there on, it’s a chaotic, mechanical journey into the mind of someone slowly going insane. Or at least, that’s what it feels like.
The composition here is top notch. The riffs blend well, despite the plethora of tons of meshed influences fueling the fire beneath the sound. Jonny’s vocals are always on time and on note, something he carries over from the superb vocal work he’s performed with Job for a Cowboy. Of course, with a voice as unique as his, it may be difficult for JFAC fans to stomach the environmental change.

Production on the album is top-notch, which is wonderful considering its origins: Kopperweis’ personal studio. Most “side projects” don’t get this much love in the mixing and mastering. The guitar tone is very grinding and almost hollow in its robotic “ehhh” drone. It fits the style of music perfectly. The drums are snappy (as they almost always are in the genre) and don’t overpower the true, key element to the puzzle: Davy’s vocal work. I’ve always been a fan of Davy’s unique voice and was glad that those same tell-tale aspects of his voice are at work here. The vocals are loud, clear, and biting.

Production and comparisons aside, Fleshwrought’s album is a must listen for tech-death fans. It has a unique place in the genre because it meshes influences but doesn’t rely on them exclusively. It’s technical, hard hitting, and grinding, just what I expected it to be. At the end of the day, one could say it’s a mix of Job for a Cowboy and technical death metal and be correct. Davy’s iconic voice and Kopperweis’ pedigree as a musician warrants that label. It’s just such a hollow label considering what the two have brought to the fold here: a great album.

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