Defleshed
Grind Over Matter

Despite their early impact and influence, I’ve never been more than a casual Defleshed fan, for some reason preferring Hypokras, Carnal Forge, Darkane, Dew Scented, The Crown and I.N.R.I for my hyper-speedy, thrashy, melodic-ish death metal in the late 90s early to mid-00s. I own 1997s Under the Blade and 1999s Fast Forward, but both were recent, “hey, those are cheap’, used bin purchases rather than want or need purchases.

And I have not heard the band since Fast Forward, so I can’t tell you my thoughts on the band’s then-swansong album, 2005s Reclaim the Beat, But I’m guessing I know exactly what it sounds like (and a quick search cemented by guess). However, I was not prepared for how much I enjoyed the band’s comeback (with basically the original trio from the band’s best known albums) after a 17-year hiatus.

One could argue that a Defleshed comeback was certainly not needed or even wanted in 2022, but boy have they made me eat crow as Grind Over Matter, might be the album that has my feet and hands tapping more than any other in 2022.

If more feral melodeath/thrash songs songs like Dew-Scented‘s “Unconditional” and “Feeling Not” or Nightrage’s “The Tremor” get you all worked up, this is the album for you; furious hacking slashing speedy death/thrash with some early 90s grindcore power chords here and there as well as surprising amounts of vicious melody and snarling barked, rasped vocals. And then with a crunchy, razor sharp, modern recording from genre guru Lawrence Mackeroy (Darkane, Enemy Is Us, Nightrage, etc), you get 34 vicious minutes in easily digestible, concise, 3-minute or so slices.

No long intros, no atmospheric, no long experimental numbers, just a pure, ripping throwback to the band’s prior 90s and 00s efforts, but with the big shiny new production it …de-fleshes….much harder (though the primal rawness of the early albums is still appreciated). This is all just about riffs, riffs, and more riffs.

Right from the throttling opening track “Bent Out of Shape” the album is front-loaded with  fucking barnstormers like the title track, “One Grave to Fit Them All”, savage favorite “Dear Devil” and “Blood Well Spent”.

You’d think the energy would wear off after the first 2/3, and to be honest past albums got a bit samey towards the end. But with  “Unburdedend By Genius”, more mid-paced “Behind Dead Eyes”, furious “Blastbeat” and “Last Nail in the Coffin”, the 17 years of old man energy stays truly harnessed, with not a single respite in pacing or fury, resulting in a killer comeback album I didn’t expect at all.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
October 31st, 2022

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