Fleshcrawl
Into the Catacombs of Flesh

One of the more under the radar reunions of late is the reformation of Germany’s Fleshcrawl, one of the country’s early 90s death metal bands along with Morgoth (who ironically shared the same band name with Fleshcrawl at the outset) , who seemed to get the lions share of the attention. Fleshcrawl eventually settled into a style that unabashedly cloned Dismember, and knocked out some solid releases ending with 2007s Structures of Death.

Well, after 12 years the band has apparently seen the style’s rebirth and decided to give it another go and continue with their Dismember worship with mixed results as Into the Catacombs of Flesh has some pretty good highs and some average sounding lows.

The buzz saw/hm 2 guitar tone is solid and authentic, not overdoing it, even if the mix is a bit weird with some really loud solos. But the songs are a weird mix of fucking killer and pretty dull, as the album has some really good tracks and some snoozers, making for an inconsistent return.

As expected, the great songs are where the band really locks into Dismember’s classic, melodic, hack and slash sound circa Death Metal and Hate Campaign. Tracks like “Mass Obliteration”, “Funeral Storm”, “Red Dreams of Sorrow”, (where they absolutely nail the Dismember sound), “Of Frozen Bloody Grounds”, and personal favorite, killer closer “Among Death and Desolation”.

But then you get a few tracks (largely the album’s mid section) of mid paced, Massive Killing Capacity era mediocrity like “Ossuary Rituals”, “Grave Monger”, “Law of Retaliation”  (which I initially thought was going to be a cover o Entombed’s “Through the Colonnades”), “Suffer the Dead” or blistering but contrived “Chainsaw Impalement” (which must break some kind of record for the use of the word ‘cunt’ in a song) and “Obliteration Bizarre”.

2019 saw some solid entries in the Swedish styled death metal scene from the likes of Revel in Flesh, Entrails, Entombed AD, In Pain, Gods Forsaken, Sentient Horror, Wretched Fate and such. And at times, Fleshcrawl are in that conversation, but at other times they are annoyingly bland and show why they were a bit overlooked in the 90s and 00s.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
January 13th, 2020

Comments

  1. Commented by: Allred

    I mostly enjoyed this new album, but what is the deal with those solos? I just can’t understand why they’re mixed so damn loud…


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