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*.
The intro to Perpetual Dawn. One of the finest 20 seconds in death metal.
Skulls for drum kit
Continuously moving California
Cameo in Temple of Doom
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.
Lost in a Grave
Never to Die Again