Fleshkiller, a progressive death metal band from Norway, is releasing an album, entitled ‘Awaken’ September 15th, 2017; available through their North American label, Facedown Records. If you are reading this thinking, “Who in fuck is Fleshkiller?”, then you and I are not much different. They were pointed out to me in much the same fashion as the last couple of reviews I’ve done, and were found via Spotify. If you take the heavy aspects of Opeth, and mix in some of their progressive tendencies, then add in some serious death metal flavor, you will have the recipe for an excellent album…or soup if you do it wrong hahahaah! Anyway, the first single from the album is called “Parallel Kingdom”, and it is a perfect example of what they do; complex guitar parts, with heaviness and melodic aspects. The first vocals you hear are clean, and it is apparent that Ole Børud can sing (he was the vocalist of Extol). He also plays guitar here, and Elisha Mullins handles the heavier vocals (and guitars), and they are equally impressive. The mix of the two styles is perfect, and fits the music so well. The 4th track, “Secret Chambers”, starts out heavy. The guitars are crushing, and then clean vocals are layered on top of it. This mix is so nice, and the interplay between keeping a heavy edge with the progressive style vocals works nicely again. The intro to “Inherit” may be my favorite moment of the album, as the guitars that are distorted are held out, with a clean guitar over the top of it. It almost has a Nevermore feel to it, very Jeff Loomis. Then, BAM, it gets a bit faster and grabs your attention. I absolutely love the guitars on this one. So nicely played, and a very well written track.
Overall, this is an exceptional album, and I am not usually a fan of the Opeth style progressive metal. However, Fleshkiller keeps more of the heavy factor going, and the more melodic, progressive sections aren’t as boring as I feel Opeth is (sorry fans of Opeth, but I don’t get peoples infatuation with them). So, go out and check out this band. There is a video for their first single on their Facebook page. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!!!!!!