Fleshgrind
Demo Days

One of Chicago’s best death metal bands, Fleshgrind, finally gets their two (2) demos  Holy Pedophile 1993 and  Sorrow Breeds Hatred… Bleed on Me 1995 released on cd with bonus content.  Fleshgrind would eventually go on to record 3 full length albums but their demos are special for a number of reasons.  The main thing is other than the title track to Holy Pedophile, Fleshgrind never re-recorded their demo songs.  This is rare for a death metal band, back then, because we all re-recorded all our demo songs for full lengths.  So Fleshgrind broke the mold back then and it was not even like those songs were sub-par-for me, those songs are some of their best work.  When I fronted Internal Bleeding, playing shows with Fleshgrind, in the early/mid 90’s is truly one of my musical highlights.  We all got a long together and played shows in America as well as Canada together.  Singing “Holy Pedophile” onstage with vocalist Rich Lipscomb (RIP) in Canada and then him singing “Inhuman Suffering” onstage with me is ultra-special to me.

Holy Pedophile was and still is a brutal display of mid-west death metal with each song seemingly catchier than the next.  The 5 songs, had a little rough around the edges approach, but so damn catchy.  How can one not sing along to “Anger”, but belting out that song title.  Rich had a knack for having some excellent mid-ranges, as well as guttural brutality sung with power and force.  Steve Murray’s guitar work, along with Rich’s, as well as David Barbolla’s not overly complicated drum style meshed well with Casey Reba on bass.  The songs gelled, were cohesive and still to this day the title track is my favorite Fleshgrind song.  Obviously not due to the true to life lyrical content but the song has catchiness to the enth degree.  The opening with the keyboards and the sounds of what is transpiring at the church are gross and sets it up for quite a horror story beginning.  Then that pounding drum sound permeates your soul, before the catchy chorus comes in-because after all God Will Make it Betterrrrrrrrrrrrr!  One of the best demos of the 90s’, by far.  The remaster is a bit of a mixed bag as I am unsure if the songs were ripped from a cassette, since their tends to be quite a bit of hiss in certain parts and uneven levels.

Sorrow Breeds Hatred… Bleed on Me had the same line-up as the first demo and took the songwriting skills to the next level with even better musicianship.  The opener, “White Demon”, about a Great White shark, is one of their best songs.  Excellent and pounding blasts and with that guitar riff isolated, then going into the mid-paced part with the thunderous double bass is so goddamned catchy and heavy-the song was and still is perfect.  “Cum on My Stumps” with the great opening bass guitar then right into the mid-paced part, growl and blast is vintage 90’s brutal death metal.  Rich vomiting all over the place.  The stop n start part at the 1.05 part is excellent and could create a pit the size of Jupiter.  Plus what a fun song title?  The title track at only 2.48 blasted right out of the starting gate and a lot of mid-paced and heavy double pounding parts.  I love this demo so much and what a great follow-up, to the classic Holy Pedophile.  The remastering on this demo is much cleaner, levels are good and sounds quite excellent.

The bonus songs are their full set from the 2000 Fuck the Commerce Open Air Festival.  The collection of songs span their first 2 demos, as well as their first 2 albums: Destined for Defilement and The Seeds of Abysmal Torment.  Sound quality of the remaster is pristine and perfect.  The cd digipak is one of those slim jobs with pics, a cool cover to reimagine both demo covers and a terrific live picture of Rich Lipscomb, who sadly passed away earlier this year.  A terrible loss to the scene.  But his influence is still far reaching today.  I urge you to pick this compilation up-it’s well worth it, from one of the finest death metal bands who shaped the mid-west American death metal scene.  Buy or Die!!!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
August 11th, 2021

Comments

  1. Commented by: J. Mays

    Not gonna lie. The song title “Cum on My Stumps” just made me do a spit take.


  2. Commented by: Krazykin

    Excellent review Frank. Glad to see these 2 classics get the recognition they deserve! Being from the Midwest I was lucky enough to see Fleshgrind many times and even before they got signed. Rich commanded the stage and brought the energy every time (RIP to a true death metal warrior)


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