Fleshdoll – Feeding The Pigs

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If you like your death metal voraciously brutal and old school bred but with the balls to twist that template to its own devious ends, oh also with a tongue firmly in someone’s cheek at times, then Feeding The Pigs from French metallers Fleshdoll is one recommendation to definitely check up on. The third album from the Toulouse quintet is not a proposition sculpting something new or scarcely trodden before but for uncompromising yet mischievously adventurous extreme hostility, it is a thoroughly contagious and satisfyingly exhausting protagonist.

Formed in 2001, it was the band’s debut album [w.o.a.r.g] five years later which really awoke the French underground metal scene to the arising presence and force of Fleshdoll. Released via French label Thundering Records/Manitou Music, the album was well- received and lauded as the band spent their energies playing show after show on the way sharing stages with the likes of Svart Crown, END, Blockheads, and Zubrowska. In 2006 Fleshdoll became the first death metal band to play in Casablanca, bringing their raw spice to the Moroccan scene treading in the line set already by Kreator and Moonspell. The following year second album Animal Factory is uncaged and again the band is garnered in acclaim and attention as they take it on the road, playing with bands such as Malevolent Creation and Loudblast. A line-up change stepped up next before Fleshdoll stepped into the studio with Gorod drummer Samuel Santiago to record Feeding The Pigs. Its triumph has thrust the band into another soaking of eager plaudits and focus, a new spotlight enhanced already this year as they went on tour across France with Loudblast and Benighted, Europe with Resurrection and Cremation, and before that Japan with Vomitory, Beyond Creation, and Defeated Sanity.

The album launches at the listener with its title track, an instantly vicious and ridiculously compelling maelstrom of annihilatory rhythms, Fleshdoll coverguitar violations, and vocal predation. Into that delicious hellish mix sharp and short acid spewing grooves infest the psyche to further spawn eager rapture. It is an immediate enslavement as the rhythms settle into a controlled prowl whilst still making the most intensive demands and threats alongside a devilish swagger which drives the vocals and guitar enterprise. It is an extraordinary track, one as suggested in regard to the album, not necessarily breaking boundaries but certainly caging the essence of the genre in a virulently infectious and explosively incendiary design.

The opener is such a stunning song that certainly for a while the album struggles to match up to its strengths and toxicity though right away both Collateral Murder and A Feast For The Rats give very worthy shots. The first of the two virtually stalks down senses and imagination, its bestial provocation sizing up and crawling all over the ears and emotions whilst rhythms juggle skilfully with their bait whilst the guitars in league with the bass swarm over the listener in horde like fashion but with enough sonic endeavour and creative invention to cast a constantly intriguing premise. Its successor sits back on the tail of urgency initially before twisting its gait and body through persistently changing and unpredictable turns of direction and pace. It also is loaded with impressive craft from guitars and brutality from Santiago but like its predecessor lacks the explosive spark of the first song as well as the vaunt and open smile. Nevertheless the pair healthily feed an already greedy want from the album bred by the title track as too does the following song, The Wolf.

The album’s fourth song lives up to whatever the imagination can conjure for the song name, its vocal roars and the unrelenting jaws of the riffs worrying and tearing at the senses whilst the heavy paws of the bass and crippling swipes of the drums only compound the mouthwatering attack. Spiteful grooves latch onto the charge of the song soon after before its body switches between prowls and all out assaults again and again ensuring expectations have nothing to latch on to and full attention is taken on a feisty captivating ride. The track gets closer to bridging the gap between the starting pinnacle and the rest of the album especially with its fiery hues of the guitar and solos.

Dead Monochrome is a demonic pestilential fury which sears and consumes from its first malevolent breath, a dark venomous scourge complete with deceitful melodic tempting and addiction sculpting grooves which offer respite knowing the rest of the ruinous intent of the protagonist will suffocate any hope. From this point in many ways the album goes through a slight evolution starting with the sinister breathing instrumental The Hollow Men. It is not a big twist in the premise of the release more a stronger investigation of the melodic and adventurous hints shown in A Feast For The Rats but it does bring a slight movement from animalistic intensity to inventive exploration. The Shadow Of A Man right away certainly shows no signs of diminishing its carnivorous appetite, riffs and rhythms uniting for a tunnel of grievous chastisement, but that is subsequently joined by a flood of melodically seeded flumes. As its mass continues to fill ears, the song brings in a rhythmic enticement which in turn moves into an oppressive swamp within which acid running veins expel sonic tempting.

The pair of Ecstatic Random Carnage and King Of Patusan more dramatically bring something distinctly new to the tortuous fun, the first wrapping its savage and imposing weight around the senses before unveiling a weave of furnace bred melodies and psychotic patterns around the gutturally spawned vocals. Imagination is lit right away but given a greater thrill as the song sweeps into a heavyweight passage of invention which is jazzy in its colour and funky in its energy before returning to a keen ravaging of ears and beyond. The second is technical/progressive flavoured metal imagination within a severe and tempestuous domain and again as the previous song easily seduces thoughts, both songs stepping forward to not equal but definitely rival the first peak in the album.

Completed by the excellent North Sentinel Island, an absorbing encounter which can be onerous at one moment and within a single lung’s expulsion seduce with entrancing ambience and beauty, Feeding The Pigs is a thoroughly satisfying and enjoyable intrusion. Certainly Fleshdoll can be compared in varying degrees to the likes of Cannibal Corpse, Napalm Death, Carcass, Bolt Thrower, and Kreator as a reason to check out their album but it shows that the French band is working on forging their own unique path and it is coming along very nicely.

Feeding The Pigs is available via Great Dane Records now!

http://www.fleshdollband.com

8.5/10

RingMaster 23/05/2014

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Merciless Terror – Vile Extinction

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A venom fuelled rage in the ear which soon makes its way to thoughts and passions, Vile Extinction the debut album from UK thrashers Merciless Terror is a self-perpetuating sonic pestilence which leaves a certain hunger for the band and their sounds ahead whilst making one striking and synapse wasting confrontation in the now. Like so many releases around it is not stalking new fields of invention for thrash metal or preying on the senses with undiscovered inventive maliciousness but it comes with an attitude and creative freshness which sets the album apart from most of its contemporaries.

The Nottingham quartet formed in 2009 using the inspirations of the likes of Slayer, Malevolent Creation, early Sepultura, and Bolt Thrower to fire up their imagination and invention. Their sound creates a magnetic maelstrom of thrash and death metal which from its first touch takes a firm grip on attention and over numerous excursions through its vitriolic presence, as shown with Vile Extinction, ingrains itself for stronger reactions. Theirs is a sound which consumes and crushes with a torrent of riff rabidity and rhythmic destructiveness but one which is unafraid to venture through more imaginative and violently enterprising scenery than most. From their acclaimed first EP Perpetual Devastation in 2011, the band despite several line-up changes has cemented and stretched their opening recognition through their live performances which has seen Merciless Terror aurally terrorising fans across the UK, Europe, Japan, and Scandinavia whilst playing alongside bands such as Bolt Thrower, Benediction, Malevolent Creation, Bonded By Blood, Desecration, Cerebral Bore and many more, and with their Eternal Decay EP of last year. Now the foursome of vocalist Dale Linsdell, guitarist Luke Tasker, drummer Michael Brush, and bassist Dan Oldcorn take it up many levels with the Devils Clause Records released Vile Extinction.

Opening atmospheric instrumental Omnicide 00.00 sets up the premise and theme of the album, “The damnation of humanity, the Front Cover 300imminent fate that will consume us all and lead the remnants of civilization to fight for survival, the result of mankind’s own doing by unnecessary wars because of religion, over harvesting, over spawning like a cancerous infection upon the earth and depleting the world’s life force.” It is an ominous if slightly underwhelming menace which is soon trampled beneath the rapacious entrance of Doctrine Of Malevolence, the track and vocals roaring with guttural animosity from its opening breath. Grooved riffery scorches the air whilst the drums provide a tsunami of breath stealing intensity and violence, and with the vocal squalling buffeting the senses whilst the sonic enterprise singes synapses like a shower of hot coals, it is a scintillating assassination of the thoughts and resistance.

From the tremendous start things only become more intensive and sonically carnivorous as firstly Circle Of Contempt rampages with a bestial craving to its rhythms and the inventive assault of guitar alongside bass rabidity to be swiftly followed by the unbridled predation of Enraptured. Merciless and loaded with a hunger rhythmically and sonically that simultaneously suffocates whilst tearing strips from the senses with its acidic toxicity and virulent intensity, the track is one of many distinct pinnacles upon the album with a vocal ferocity which simply dares you to disagree.

Both the outstanding ravenously addictive Baptized In Blood and the pulverising assault of Hateful Abomination brings blood and appetite to the boil, vocals and rhythms as potently vindictive and destructive as at any point on the album drawing an instinctive rapture which is lustful in its submission. The band continues to unleash a thrilling torrent of mouthwatering corrosive thrash cored violence through the adrenaline raising Process Of Eradication where the guitars sculpt a web of riffs and grooves which triggers greed drenched ardour and the exhausting World Desolation where nagging swarming riffs and equally addictive grooves prowl and hunt the senses as the rhythms cage their prey in sinew clad insistence before a sonic fire of a solo brings the heart of the song to the fore as another sumptuous tempest of annihilation reaps havoc.

From next up Imminent Death, a sub two minute intensive brawl on the senses, the album unveils evocative instrumental Dystopic Visions which though arguably for personal tastes is positioned wrongly in the track line-up for the best effect is an enthralling colour drenched melodic slice of creative beauty. It does bring the senses time to settle and relish the upcoming closing storm Existence Denied. The track has a more restrained launch at the ears but is soon thundering through their doorways to gnaw upon the senses whilst employing and crafting constant twists and enriching flavours for what is possibly the strongest and most inventive song on the album, if not ultimately the favourite. It concludes in Vile Extinction, an album of aggressive deeply satisfying thrash metal. It is not rippling with originality or threatening new avenues for the genre but Merciless Terror instead make it a confrontation with a balance of passion and ruinous intent which is extraordinarily skilled and exciting.

www.facebook.com/MercilessTerror

8.5/10

RingMaster 10/10/2013

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