Fleshdoll – Feeding The Pigs

Fleshdoll pic

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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Cancrena: Hidden Depravity

Cancrena

    Recent months have seen numerous impressive thrash metal assaults unleashed to which Italian metallers Cancrena have added another formidable release with their thunderous predator Hidden Depravity. Whilst the album uses well mined sounds and ventures it turns them into one of the most powerful, destructive, and downright thrilling records to ravage the passions. The album is a brute of an encounter and thoroughly irresistible.

From Bari, Cancrena formed in 2000 reaping essences from influences such as Pantera, Testament, and Sepultura. Loaded with heavy merciless riffs and an even hungrier energy the band became a recognised force on the local live scene spreading outwards across southern Italy through further gigs and festivals. From a two track self-titled demo in 2003 and the self-produced seven track Fears demo of 2005, which included that first duo of songs, Cancrena grew their reputation further to inspire mounting acclaim through their shows and the new EP. Another demo Underneath emerged the following year leading to a signing with Vision Metal Records in 2008 who gave the demo distribution in the US and UK. Shows with the likes of Obituary, Extrema, Pino Scotto (ex-Vanadium), Finntroll, Vomitory, Malevolent Creations, Paw Power and many more followed over the next three years before the band ventured in the studio last year to record Hidden Depravity, a powerhouse of southern thrash metal.

Released through Logic(il)Logic Records, Hidden Depravity takes no prisoners as immediately evident by the beginning of Cover Hidden Depravity - lightopener Serpent Skin. Emerging from within senses gnawing carnal mists, the song steps forward through a bassline with the most compelling snarl and a torrent of tight destructive rhythms and ravenous riffs linked by a groove which scythes through the ear like a sonic sabre.  Soon the vocals of Francesco Morgese unleash passionate scowls with skill and enterprise to match the already riveting guitar play of Francis Farinola. Well into its stride the song is openly soaked in the aggressive malice of Pantera and driven by an insatiable rich creative craft comparable to a Sepultura or Metallica. It is an explosive start to the album which never lets up through to the end.

The following tempest of hungry energy and senses corroding intensity brought by The Pessimist is equally contagious and demanding. At times there is a Dez Fafara venom and growl to the vocals which lay a deeper abrasion upon the listener whilst musically the track fuses annihilatory intent and smouldering melodic flames together for a full on torrent of voracious invention. Nearing its end the song stops as if over then returns with a furnace of a climax which leaves one breathless and delirious.

The bass of Fab Chiarazzo is a perpetual hypnotic joy across the whole album, his deeply rapacious lines as devastating as they are dangerously seductive whilst the rhythms of drummer Ruggiero Ricco feel like a torrent of unpredictable donkey punches upon the senses. Through the tremendous assaults of songs like Pervert Priest, Dark Torment, and Backdraft, the pair unleash a heavy persuasion and brutality which alone leaves the passions aflame but once lock ‘n’ loaded into primal shotguns of songs alongside the burning craft and rich potency of the guitars and vocals, a willing submission is only a matter of crossing the ’i’s and dotting the ‘t’s.

The further in the release one is thrust the more the intensity and pleasure escalates, tracks such as Black Underground with its twisting vehement structure and crushing union of rhythmic ruination and rabidly greedy riffs, the Bloodsimple toned ravaging Ancient Strength, and the staggering title track, all finely honed storms of savagery and sonic mastery. The last of these three is a mighty metallic wrath which consumes and devours the senses with rich rage and violent authority but as across the album, the band tempering it slightly with a wonderful skilful and imaginative melodic warm.

From first note to last the release is a snarling ravager though it unexpectedly and beautifully gives respite nearing its end through the magnetic instrumental To Nerve Oneself, the piece showing the band as able to create colourful melodic pictures as skilfully and easily as they can grievously decimate. Of course it is only a moment of relief as the band end the album with another staggering riot of murderous rampage in the intensive Under The Law. With sonic fires flaming with melodic brilliance within the ferocity it is a mighty end to an outstanding album. Many will suggest there is nothing new going on upon Hidden Depravity and arguably they are right but when it sounds this sensational who cares. Cancrena makes thrash metal which matters and far better than most.

www.facebook/cancrena

8.5/10

RingMaster 08/02/2013

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