Review Summary: Fleshwrought's debut is an excellent technical death metal album that has only one little weakness – it’s not quite as mesmerizing as the work of the genre’s biggest bands
Stature matters a lot more in the modern metal world than it did back in the day. For example, when names such as Dan Swano, Rogga Johansson, Peter Tagtgren, Mikael Akerfeldt et al. pop up, you automatically expect great things. But when you’re known to be (or at least were) in a run-of-the-mill band, the iffy status sticks with you wherever you go, whatever you do. Now, I am not saying that Job For A Cowboy are necessarily a run-of-the-mill band, but we all know that former deathcore acts have a hard time clearing their name (but props to JFAC for at least trying to convert over to death metal). So when a death metal fanatic looks at Fleshwrought’s debut album, Dementia/Dyslexia
, and sees that the vocals are provided by no else than Jonny Davy, an unwarranted feeling of uncertainty might evoke.
Rest assured though, since Fleshwrought are far from being even similar to Job For A Cowboy, with the only connection between the bands being Jonny Davy. Fleshwrought is a full-fledged technical death metal band, sounding akin to artists such as Necrophagist and The Faceless. Though the songwriting on Dementia/Dyslexia
on the level of the genre's greats yet (think: The Faceless, Gorod, Gorguts), Fleshwrought show a lot of promise on their debut LP. All of the instrumentation is being handled by Navene Koperweis (ex-Animosity drummer), with Davy contributing vocals, and vocals only. In that regard, Dementia/Dyslexia
is actually Koperweis’ personal vision; his view on tech death.
Though hard to call entirely original, the album does succeed in being a great technical death metal effort. It is varied enough to keep the listener interested throughout its duration, concise enough to avoid becoming stale, and intricate enough to have solid replay value. The main draw here, as on any tech death album, is the guitar work, and Koperweis doesn’t disappoint. The album is filled with a wide selection of dissonant chords and crazy time signatures, with a thicker riffing section also taking place in every song. A small dose of melody is also injected at times, though it mostly takes the back seat or is not there at all (not that it would be a problem here). Come to think of it, Dementia/Dyslexia
sounds very similar to last year’s Planetary Duality
by The Faceless. The two albums aren’t completely alike, but the riffing and chord changes are definitely analogous. On top of that, Fleshwrought also have their own sci-fi theme going on, just like The Faceless do.
Guitar work isn’t the only good part about this album though. Being a drummer by profession, it is no wonder Koperweis is rock-solid behind the kit, though at times I wish he’d mix it up just a tad more (too much emphasis is put on triggered double-bass, for example, with fast but regular snare/cymbal combos taking a little too much space as well). The drumming is engaging, mostly thanks to Koperweis’ speed and swagger, but by the end of the album the patterns start to melt together somewhat. It is only a minor complaint of mine though, as all in all, the drumming is executed pretty damn masterfully.
And now we reach the point I’m sure at least some of you are intrigued about
: is Davy worth a damn on this album? The answer is easy to come, really, and it’s a positive one. Davy, for the possible surprise of many, fills his role with confidence, proving that he is indeed a solid death metal vocalist. He isn’t anything too special, but by belting out demonic screams and solid gutturals, he matches the music presented – he is not exactly what you’d call “original”, but what he does, he does very well.
is a great technical death metal record, especially when taking into consideration that this is only the band’s debut album. While Fleshwrought aren’t quite as poised and excellent at compositions as some of the genre’s biggest names, they definitely have a lot of potential. Besides, Dementia/Dyslexia
is an incredibly chill album as far as technical death metal goes. There are no glaring flaws on this cd, it just doesn’t sound quite
as mesmerizing as some of the genre’s finest bands do. With that in mind, I have no problem recommending this album to anyone into technical death metal. It’s excellent, as long as you don’t expect this to be a complete masterpiece.