Fleshcrawl knows old school death metal. And for a band that has been around since 1987, it's good to see at least one band stay with what they know best.Upon their creation they were know as Morgoth, and then they changed their name to Suffocation.However, due to an upcoming US death metal band of the same name, they were forced to change their name yet again. Fleshcrawl is the name that stuck. Their latest album, and seventh overall, “Made of Flesh” is definitely an adventure into familiar territory, and for the most part, it is an enjoyable one. Instantly when I popped in “Made of Flesh,” I definitely drew some comparisons to Dismember, Grave, and maybe even a little Bolt Thrower. The music is mostly mid-paced, groove laden old-school death metal in the same vein as these bands. The vocals remind me of kind of a cross between Corpsegrinder and Glen Benton. Mostly low growls with a few occasional high screams here and there. They vocals work for the music, but are nothing special. The guitarwork is nothing overly technical, but the guitarists perform very solidly on the record, and have a good selection of riffs on each song.They even incorporate a hint of melody here and there. The drumming is tight, with the drummer offering a good variety of drumbeats across the album. There are thrash beats, blasts, drum rolls, and a lot of mid-paced double bass working in conjunction with the guitarists speed picking. Overall most of the songs follow the same pace and formula, which I feel is one of the album's drawbacks. All the songs on the album are “pretty good,” but it’s missing those one or two standout tracks that get you hitting the repeat button. It’s a very consistent album, but it could have used a little more variety. Another gripe I have is with the song titles. They are extremely generic, with song names like “Flesh Bloody Flesh” and “Made of Flesh (also the album title)”. I would have thought a band with “flesh” in their name would stray away from over-using the word. Just a minor nit-pick. The production is very solid, and was recorded at the infamous Studio Underground. The guitars are very mid-range in tone, and are very befitting for the old school sound. The drums have a good mix and clarity. I would say they are my favorite part of the production. The vocals are very natural sounding, with little to no effect on them, if I had to guess. Due to the prominent mid-tone of the guitars, the bass sits a little behind everything, but you can still distinguish it. I would say, overall, it’s a good sounding recording with enough clarity to make out all the instruments, and enough grit to emulate a good old school DM feel. Bottom Line: I think Fleshcrawl have, for the most part, been very successful with creating a good throwback old school death metal record.However, once you get about halfway through the record, I feel like a little more variation, or a couple stronger songs are really what this album needs. It provides a few rewarding listens, but doesn’t hold your interest long enough to necessarily be considered a favorite, let alone a classic or an album of the year contender. Nevertheless, I was pleasantly surprised with “Made of Flesh” and look forward to seeing what Fleshcrawl does in the future.
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