Defleshed - _Under the Blade_
(Metal Blade, 1998)
by: Drew Snow (
"Solid metal" is what Defleshed claim to play, and though I'm not sure whether they mean it's merely solid in the 'good' sense, or if they've spawned a whole new genre here, "solid metal" sounds a whole lot like 80s thrash/speed-inspired death metal to me. Producing a pretty fat sound for just a three piece band, Defleshed utilize a great raw guitar sound along with some manic drumming to create the harsh tones found on _UtB_. Alternating from blasting death metal sections with pretty standard components into the definitely cooler thrashier material, the problem with _UtB_ is that it's just too intensely divided for its own good. Without hardly any transition at all, the band goes from a Testament "Curse of The Legions of Death"-sounding riff straight into insane death metal, leaving the album sounding totally disjointed, unable to follow up on which sound to go with. This wouldn't be so bad if at least the respective thrash and death parts were particularly -good-, but once one gets past the painful song arrangements, one realizes that none of the riffs, drumming, or vocals are really that great anyway. Plus, unfortunately, when they're not busy deciding on which style to go on to next, Defleshed tend to be downright repetitive, which adds insult to injury. _UtB_ may satisfy those looking for immediate death/thrash gratification, but once you dig down past the surface the album suffers.
(article published 3/10/1998)
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