Afterbirth
Four Dimensional Flesh

I was honored to be a guest singer on the debut Afterbirth album-The Time Traveler’s Dilemma, on the song “Timeless Formless”, released in 2017.  The album just plain rules and Afterbirth return with their second album-Four Dimensional Flesh, which shows the band streamlining their approach.  Shorter songs, but no less brutal or catchy, than the previous album. “Beheading the Buddha” opens the album at under 3 minutes there is no time to waste.  Immediately opening with a monster drum beat and then right into a brutal blast by Keith Harris as Will Smith lays down some brutal gutturals.  Band is in top notch form especially with Cody Drasser’s guitar sound.  Super fast riffing and while brutal still melodic and technical.  David Case has some awesome bass guitar lines.  The opening awesome segment repeats itself again a little later on and the drum rolls and guitar riff are just plain sick.

“Spiritually Transmitted Disease” comes ripping next and is one of the fastest songs the band has ever done and Will is gurgling all over the place.  He probably drenched the studio with his salivating madness, as he gets super low on this album.  His louder angrier growls cut through really great on this album.  The 2.40 part gets a little atmospheric and I love Will’s undercurrent deep growl throughout this part and then the song opens and spreads its wings a little more as the blasting gets underway and then slowing down with monster double bass and some ambient noise moments with the drums/cymbals how they’re hit.  Sounds like an effect-I don’t know, but I love it.  I always go on record about how much I cannot stand instrumentals on death metal albums as I view them as filler, but just like the last Afterbirth album, they’re all over the place on this album, and we get no less than 4 of them, but for some reason they hit home with me.  “Girl in Landscape” is emotive, ambient, spacey and super killer.

When I listen to Afterbirth’s interludes, they remind me of something Cynic would create or even some of the aspects on the classicPestilence album-Testimony of the Ancients.  So then we are only getting 7 real songs on Four Dimensional Flesh, but when they are this great I do not care and as I said the interludes/instrumentals actually help to enhance the entire album’s listening experience.  “Never Ending Teeth”, ewww what a gross concept, is a killer song.  I love the whammy bar/pinch harmonic moments in the beginning of the song.  Super amazing.  Will’s growls get deeper than the Earth’s core.  Some of the beginning guitar effect is used towards the end of the tune and this is one of the most packed in death metal songs I’ve heard in a while.  “Rooms to Nowhere” is killer and features an excellent guest vocal spot by John Paoline from Mortal Decay.  “Black Hole Kaleidoscope” starts off frantic and brutal with amazing guitar harmonics and killer blasting.

The album cover of Four Dimensional Flesh seems to have that same bastard who was falling through the air, on the previous album.  Therefore I like the connection and it’s super cool and the M. C. Escher background is outstanding.  The production is excellent and the progressive, jazzy technical death metal over and undertones are certainly brought to the forefront on this album.  Once again Afterbirth show why they are one of the better acts in the genre of death metal they play.

This album is one of the best this year and may usurp the throne, currently held by Porta Nigra, as my fave album of 2020.  In terms of death metal, man I don’t know, this may be the best death metal album this year, thus far.  I cannot get enough of this album.  Every damn time I give it a listen I discover more new and exciting musical elements.  Creative, brutal, technical, atmospheric, dynamic, original and certainly a Buy or Die!!!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
April 17th, 2020

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