Review Summary: An object lesson in potentiality.4 of 4 thought this review was well written
Every so often a brutal death scene emerges in a country that isn't typically associated in death metal discussions. In the last five years or so, the Greek brutal death metal scene has erupted into one of the most potent forces in the genre, with its eyes set on the reigns. The country brandishes some of the most exciting and flourishing brutal bands today, such as Extreme Violence, Mass Infection, Vulnus, Inveracity, as well as its latest offering, Remnants of Flesh.
I carry somewhat of a bias where Remnants of Flesh are concerned, though at this point it is mostly unfounded, which is accounted for because the band hasn't totally proved out yet; that is to say, the promise displayed on Degenerated Human Cells is no greater than that from their 2006 demo. Since the band hasn't yet taken much authority to show the brutal death community how they plan on expounding their promise, I suppose I'll go ahead and do it for them.
The most preliminary steps are seeing to a more fitting production and a better vocalist. The production on the album is a mingling of typical Colombian BDM (read: very raw) production, and as if the entire album was recorded from a live set. Frankly, it doesn't fit the band's desired sound too much, though it does settle in. The vocals on the other hand are completely off. Characteristic of the more terrible sides of slam, they tend to be annoying inhales (the same type of vocals that hindered Decrepidemic's 2009 release) and pretty poor attempts at pig squeals, as if good pig squeals are even entertaining to begin with. Speaking of which, the slams on the album seem an after-thought, and simply, not very creative or interesting (opposed to their riffing, which is mostly excellent). There seems to be this universality, that slams are indigenous and necessary for modern brutal death as prerequisite to being brutal death. The majority of RoF's compatriots will reveal this to be very false (Extreme Violence and Mass Infection release some of the most exciting BDM sans slams).
Most importantly, Remnants of Flesh have a very important decision to make. You see, the band tries to emulate, and comes pretty close as relative to their peers, the exemplary Deeds of Flesh-styled tremolo riffs, and they clearly don't care to inter their reverence for the aforementioned band. With Deeds seeming to abandon their founding sound, should RoF take the opportunity to capitalize on the void and submit themselves, who are forerunners for the position, to being shadows (or remnants, if you will) of a titan? Or should they rather search for their own sound? Neither path would be easy, in brutal death metal a band is very limited in their ability to maneuver where progression is concerned, and only so few bands do it successfully, especially few are those who follow their influences so closely, as RoF do.
I'd exhort that the band pursue being a Deeds clone further (and try to abandon the slam aspects altogether), unless the prospect of never transcending their influences gives them discomfort, which, the name the band has chosen indicates otherwise. Needless to say if that is the direction they're headed, they still have some work to do. It's no easy feat to mimic Deeds of Flesh, as evidenced by no band coming very close to this day.