Fleshcrawl
Descend Into the Absurd


5.0
classic

Review

by Valerius USER (4 Reviews)
December 1st, 2011 | 94 replies


Release Date: 1992 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Arguably the finest German old school death metal album

Have you ever been molested by a giant slug? Ever been crushed by a riff? Ever been ran over by a truck? Ever had your heart ripped out and eaten? Look no further. You have arrived at the underground Temple of Doom. Indiana Jones? No, there's no Doctor Jones here to save you, just 5 Germans about to beat your brains in with one lick of their guitar and cave in your ribcage as well. I think I saw them playing in the pit of flame, though, as heartless victims were being lowered into the fire. No? You need to watch the movie again. They are hard to see, but, trust me, they are there.

When these German lads swing their axes California almost breaks away from the mainland and falls into the Pacific Ocean like the turd of a state it is. I actually think Bastian Herzog is beating on human skulls for snares as well. What else sounds like that? I know - human skulls. Legend has it he is a big game hunter and has a collection of different sized skulls like the Predator for his drum kit. The vocals are very similar to Karl Willetts of Bolt Thrower, so you know the end is near when you put this record on. I think I saw the sky turn red when I looked out my window when this was playing, but it might just have been the blood rush to my brain from the bass kicks.

This album is musically quite similar to Bolt Thrower - Realm of Chaos, although I dare say it's better. This is one of the heaviest albums I have heard. The atmosphere created here, though, is not about destruction and eternal war, but about insanity, eating people, hopelessness, and despair. The production on Descend Into the Absurd is top notch; albums don't sound much better than this. The rhythm section of this band is stellar, and the drumming and bass really move these songs along. The guitar licks are some of the best doom licks I have heard. The vocals aren't anything new, but Alex Pretzer does an outstanding job.

Fleshcrawl would end up changing their sound a bit in future releases. This album is different from later releases, in that Fleshcrawl would go on to perfect chainsaw guitar tone and play music quite similar to Swedish death metal. Honestly, I don't think Entombed or Dismember or any other band had chainsaw guitar tone as good as these guys later on. Descend Into the Absurd remains to me their finest release, an essential death/doom metal album, and it is in my top 10 old school death metal. Germany had several quality old school death metal albums, but this album along with Mangled Torsos - Drawings of the Dead is without doubt to me the two finest releases from the Fatherland. But what do you expect, it's Germany, they don't do bad things *cough* *cough*.

Pros:
The intro to Perpetual Dawn. One of the finest 20 seconds in death metal.
Production
Album cover
Rhythm section
Skulls for drum kit
Continuously moving California
Cameo in Temple of Doom

Cons:
Too short. I mean come on, 55 minutes long album...7 minute songs? These songs should be 20 minutes long and the album should clock in around 2 hours. But hey, there's always the repeat forever button on Winamp. All is not lost, people. Rejoice in modern technology.

Recommended Tracks:
Phrenetic Tendencies
Perpetual Dawn
Lost in a Grave
Never to Die Again


user ratings (28)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Valerius
December 1st 2011


1137 Comments


DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWN

Dummit
December 1st 2011


368 Comments


winamp?


that still exists?

...and people still use it?

Digging: Kenn Nardi - Dancing With the Past

Valerius
December 1st 2011


1137 Comments


Yep. People still use vinyl, too. Amazing isn't it?

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
December 1st 2011


6693 Comments


This looks interesting.

m/ review, pos.



and Winamp is a legend..

Digging: Brannthorde - Auf Teufel Komm Raus

Ovrot
December 1st 2011


10723 Comments


pos'd

Digging: Shin Terai - Unision

Acanthus
December 1st 2011


9733 Comments


Winamp is great, whatcha talking about.

Digging: Celldweller - Transmissions: Vol. 02

ThyCrossAwaits
December 1st 2011


3092 Comments


To the first four sentences...yes.

ShadowRemains
December 1st 2011


22281 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

excellent album

Valerius
December 1st 2011


1137 Comments


I've been working on that. It's kind of tough. I'll list these 5 for the time being as my 5 favorite:

Deicide - Legion
Gorement - The Ending Quest
Brutality - Screams of Anguish
Fleshcrawl - Descend Into the Absurd
Mangled Torsos - Drawings of the Dead

Spots 6-10 change a bit but:

Obituary - Slowly We Rot
Morbid Angel - Altars of Madness
Bolt Thrower - Realm of Chaos
Death - Scream Bloody Gore
Demilich - Nespithe

Should definitely listen to all of those if you haven't.

DieDead
December 1st 2011


222 Comments


The artwork reminds me of Dismembers "Like An Ever Flowing Stream".

Valerius
December 1st 2011


1137 Comments


Yeah it's very good artwork. It looks like a Dan Seagrave album cover, but I don't see it listed in his works. I don't know who did it, but it rules.

Valerius
December 1st 2011


1137 Comments


I've heard all of those except Impetuous Ritual and Deeds of Flesh. I'll check Trading Pieces out since it's 1996. Right now I'm going through 1995 albums. I prefer old school stuff.

TheSpirit
December 1st 2011


18510 Comments


Great album and solid review. Pos. Are you listening to DM by year? Whenever you get to 1999 check out Serenity In Chaos by Defaced Creation. Brutal death metal from Sweden with some of the best gutturals I've ever heard. One of my favorite death metal albums ever.

Digging: Fields of Mildew - Fields of Mildew

Valerius
December 1st 2011


1137 Comments


Yeah I'd like to hear every old school death metal album. Yes I like to start with the first album from a band, and yes I am going through by year, but that might end in 1995. Not sure if I care to go through every release or debut from 1996. I don't mind checking out some newer stuff that's highly rated or recommended, but there seems to be a couple of problems with it, imo.

1) the loudness war and the effect it has on the compression and loss of dynamics in the recordings. It's just loud and obnoxious to me, and it doesn't have the same type of production. Fortunately there are bands like Grave Ritual that are producing their albums with full dynamics and an old school production feel to it. More need to do this. Not just in death metal, in every genre. I am one of the few that care about this, so it's kind of hard for me to get recs or to see this mentioned in reviews.

2) the stagnation and fracturing. I am encountering that a bit in 1995. 1992 and 1993 seem to be the creative height of death metal with lots of pioneers putting out good albums and a plethora of debuts. 1994 was pretty solid for the most part, but in 1995 there seems to be a lack. Death metal is starting to fracture into different sub-genres as well at this time, perhaps. A good bit of progressive death metal being done in 1994, not exactly my cup of tea unless it's pulled off right. Death metal that I enjoy is reaching its end in 1994/1995, pretty much a decade after its birth.

Valerius
December 1st 2011


1137 Comments


Yeah, dude. I have good ears. Maybe because I have shitty eyesight.

Valerius
December 2nd 2011


1137 Comments


I TEAR
YOUR HEART
TO PIECES

CAUSE YOU'RE MY FOOOOOOOOD

TheNotrap
December 2nd 2011


8278 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Have you ever been molested by a giant slug? Ever been crushed by a riff? Ever been ran over by a truck? Ever had your heart ripped out and eaten?"



Hahhaa

Sounds like really heavy stuff.

I will check this album out.



Digging: Leprous - The Congregation

Eclecticist
December 2nd 2011


3863 Comments


Congratulations, you have earned a ticket to the Land of Redundancy in which music critics go to for typing up a review and then summarizing in point form the pros of the album.

Valerius
December 2nd 2011


1137 Comments


If you liked Realm of Chaos, or Severed Survival, you will definitely dig this album. It's as heavy as Realm of Chaos with better production, better songwriting, and a better rhythm section. This is the best old school death-doom metal album, IMO.

Valerius
December 2nd 2011


1137 Comments


Who cares guy. If I could talk about this album without writing a review, I wouldn't even waste my time. Might as well give you a good laugh while reading it.



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