Fleshgore - May God Strike Me Dead - 2005 - This Dark Reign Records
1. Crackdown 2. Fag-End 3. Day of Doom 4. Passion 5. Greed 6. Obtrusion 7. No Way Out! 8. Time To Stop 9. Twisted Reality
Let us for a moment assume that all Metal is represented by different types of sliced bread. Death metal, for the purpose of this metaphor, is French bread. On one end of this wide loaf exists the delicately carved, nearly bite-sized morsel with a precise dollop of butter, maybe hummus. This is the bread of eloquence, early Arch Enemy, later Death, so on. And on the other end there is a ragged heel, crumby and deformed. This is Regurgitate, Cock & Ball Torture, and all those other gore/death/grind bands with ghastly names.
And, somewhere in the middle, there is a hand-ripped chunk saturated with spaghetti sauce and covered in meatballs. This is Fleshgore, the highly successful (at least, in the European market) Ukrainian trio formed in 2000. They are not as gore-metal oriented as their name would suggest, but nor are they the standard fare we have come to expect from Eastern European death metal bands.
This is a rather crudely wrought metaphor, but when listening to ‘May God Strike Me Dead’, there are clearly defined forms and structures to this band, but that framework is layered over with some techniques more commonly heard in drop-C, snare-popping, pig-sticking grind. And thus, ‘spaghtetti sauce soaked French bread.’
Without breaking any boundaries or conventions, the band displays a solid understanding of death metal’s gamut. ‘Day of Doom’, the album’s lead single, is one of the most convincing Vader impressions to appear in recent years, while other tracks such as the opener, ‘Crackdown’, have the sort of rhythmic squelches and pinch harmonics grindcore fans will appreciate.
Sid’s vocals are fairly adventurous, spanning the standard low growls to a muted squeal that at times sound nearly identical to the above mentioned pinches. Guitarist/bassist Igor exercises great control and knowledge of his instrument, making it no surprise that he wrote nearly all of the album’s material. His repertoire is mainly focused on the quasi-grind riffs of brutal death, but his surprising soloing ability makes a number of these songs more than simple novelty.
Fleshgore may have difficulty endearing themselves to either goregrind or death metal fans, as they employ traits from both but commit fully to neither. However, they do have brazen youth and flair on their side, and they produce an incredible amount of noise for a trio, at times even competing with groups like Nile or Krisiun for raw output per member. Though Fleshgore lack originality, and this album admittedly is not one that immediately begs to be replayed, ‘May God Strike Me Dead’ is a fun album, in a squishy, squirmy sort of way.
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