Unwilling Flesh
Between the Living and the Dead

Andrew D’Cagna of Nechochwen and Obsequiae has another passion apart from his excellent folky grey/black metal projects, and it’s old School Swedish death metal. And Eihwaz Recordings, the sub label of Bindrune, where the other projects reside, has allowed Andrew to release Between The Living and the Dead, an fine homage to the style that stands toe to toe with their Swedish peers and contemporaries that has tones of more than subtle nods to the likes of Left Hand Path, Like an Ever Flowing Stream and Clandestine.

Much like other US acts playing this style Horrendous and Fatalist ( RIP), Unwilling Flesh isn’t about reinventing the wheel (though Horrendous certainly tweaked it a little with their latest), but more about honoring a timeless sound and tone. Aided by fellow Nechochwen member Aaron Carey, D’Cagna, who plays everything and does vocals, delivers the sound in spades from the spot on HM-2 buzz saw guitars to the compositions that deliver memorable hooks, gallops and trots and some old school atmospheres to boot.

The end result is a nigh perfect rendition of the style, that borders on plagiarism or as D’Cagna states in his interview on this very site, “playful recreation”. And recreated it is, not just on the guitar tone, but the album contains enough 90s call backs to warrant playing of all early Entombed and Dismember albums to see what song they sound like. Case and point “Bathed in Desolation”, where the early bars are an almost note for note cover of Entombed’s “Sinners Bleed” from Clandestine. But there are enough of those recognizable throwback (ie “Morning Star Disciple”, “Fathoms Unfound”, “Secrets of the Dead”) moments mired in the band’s more unique raging renditions such as “Vanquished Daylight” or  “At One With the Earth” to make the album wholly enjoyable balancing both creativity and homage. There is even a longer more varied track in “Vaults of Eternity”, possibly the album’s only very slight misstep, though I wish there had been a slower, more somber songs as Dismember were so adept at later one)  to mingle in with the ragers, though “Nightmare Inception” comes close early on before raging way with ‘”Soon to be Dead” like urgency.

The passion and love for the style bleeds from every buzzing note and throaty growl, making Between the Living and the Dead a must have for fans of the genre, regardless of how many similar sounding albums you own. I hope D’Cagna continues this project along with his other great bands, adding a much need US contingency to a seemingly endless revival.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
October 20th, 2014

Comments

  1. Commented by: Luke_22

    I enjoyed this quite a bit. There’s a freshness to the songwriting that just manages to override their derivative traits.Good stuff.


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