Review Summary: While no different to much of the early Deeds Of Flesh sound, Gradually Melted is another excellent part of their impressive discography.
Deeds Of Flesh are often cited as one of the highlights of the US Brutal Death Metal scene alongside their California fellows Disgorge
. Their technical style of the sub-genre is ever shifting but has almost always succeeded in having an excellent sense of flow that other bands so often fail at. While this quality is less present in their most recent material such as (the still quite good) Portals To Canaan
, there's no place where it's more prevalent than in their debut EP.
Deeds Of Flesh is a band that thrives on a complexity of song structure beyond most of their peers: more rapidly shifting than Suffocation
, more orderly than commonplace tech death, and with a general technicality to the rhythms and riffs. This is showcased on all the instruments; the drums are fast and tight, but are never excessive in their intensity to the point of sounding anyway near monotonous, and the bass is ever-present with quite a bit of space in the mix to match the guitars in execution, which altogether impressive given the relentlessly shifting and often technical nature of the riffs performed. The vocals are fairly typical of the genre, with some occasional raspy highs mixed in with a good low growl. The overall mixing of the album gives all the instruments adequate space and seems to enhance the technical feel of the EP.
The songs present, while few, succeed in sounding fresh throughout. The opener Three Minute Crawlspace
opens quickly and while slowing down often, never relents, and is also surprisingly catchy. Gradually Melted
opens with a set of odd time signatures and an off-kilter feel throughout that nevertheless flows well, and Human Sandbags
has the most blatant tempo shifts of the album with many alternations between the usual fast tremolo picked riffs and brief slam riffs. Feelings Of Metal Through Flesh
is the song most akin to a typical death metal number, and serves to be a memorable number to close on. The songs, while altogether similar, evade the trap of being dull thanks to the album's brief length which showcases the band's sound effectively, cutting it short long before it becomes tiring, and overall the EP succeeds excellently through its consistency.
While Deeds Of Flesh were to produce slightly superior works towards the middle of their career, Gradually Melted
still succeeds in demonstrating why the band was and still is a prominent contributor to the brutal death metal scene.