Review Summary: Flesh over steel.
1984’s The Terminator
- written by James Cameron before he plagiarized movies and gained perceived industry cred – was a pinnacle in the sci-fi/ action genre that portrayed a cryptic tale of humanities impossible fight against a creation ironically created by man. The story was real; the atmosphere throughout the film was perfect foreshadowing into the demise of mankind by his own hands of work, summing up current controversy about how far mankind could go with technology without sacrificing what is real in this world. Long story short, the remarkable aspect to the film is the faultless contrast of cold, industrial technology that plugs away at a relentless pace versus the warm, human quality based on the humans will to survive. As much as I would love to indulge further on the films ideology, it’s wise to stop there and to focus on a rather unknown underground death metal band that has little in common with the movie’s plot but rather, the movies absolute essence of that impeccable quality to build a fire of burning flesh atop a cold mountain of industrial waste. On Flourishing’s debut entitled The Sum of All Fossils
, the band ravishes in all things that turns our worlds upside down and inside out without ever stepping into the soulless death metal being ham-fistedly put together and instead goes for song writing that keeps you coming back for more!
One listen to The Sum of All Fossils
and it’s immediately apparent how vast Flourishing’s sound is. Rooting their sound in Gorguts-ian atmospheric technical death metal, each and every song challenges this staple formula with many other sub-genres of extreme metal. While most tech-death bands sound as lifeless as a cheese-grater hit by a stick that is usually coupled with high production standards and a lack of any human feeling, the odd few know a thing or two about loosening up the strings and percussion. Flourishing’s amalgamation of old-school industrial, sludge, and a more linear type of post-metal are the key ingredients that put the emotion back into the cold punch of tech-death and is certainly a welcome treat into the tech-death fold. As found on songs such as “By Which We Are Cemented” and “In Vivid Monochrome”, 1989s Streetcleaner
comes to mind with its slow-pounding rhythm attacks and scaled harmonics that bounces with ease in-and-out of the context of warped, atonal riffs that dominate each track. The sludge factor on tracks such as (insert whatever track you want) also loosens up the tone of the precise attacks while further scaling this brand of tech-death down to a more elastic level of songwriting. The punishment that all eight tracks bring to the table is further refined with injected bits of melody that the band utilizes in a post-metal kind of way. This is particularly evident on the tail-ends to “In Vivid Monochrome”, “Momentary Senses” and album closer “As If Bathed in Existence” where crescendo melodies are used to display a more palatable dynamic to an already ‘eargasm’ coagulation of extreme metal types.
As we all know from The Terminator
franchise (not counting the lousy Christian Bale ***fest), the humans always won despite an oppressive gloom of the soulless machines potentially conquering the day. This fight between robotic vs. human qualities is a glimpse into the mayhem that Flourishing stir up on The Sum of All Fossils
without being overly obvious of the many cross-genre pollinations happening throughout. To put it simply and summarize, this is technical death metal meant for a listener who likes their robotic tunes produced by a more human mind and less by a machine with no soul.