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Reaping Flesh – “…the desire to play OSDM in its original fury without getting lost in technical drifts…”

reaping flesh – “…the desire to play osdm in its original fury without getting lost in technical drifts…”


When we received the promo from Redefining Darkness, the phrase “a mission to play no frills, straight forward Death Metal, the way they believed it should be” was just the right one to get our attention. After Ben Schultz reviewed the debut EP and described it as “Reaping Flesh’s ‘Abyss Of Existence’ is absolutely outstanding and it is outright successful in giving that Old School Death Metal feel we all know and love while still being able to sound like something completely fresh, interesting and new.”. Just adding up the reasons to question the sympathetic Italians  about the band, the EP an a lot of other things. But let’s just start with introducing this new act and their motivation to jump into the pool of Old School Death Metal…

The band started to exist in march 2022: first Marco (Guitar) and Federico (Drums) met and started to work on some rough materials, then Andrea (Bass and Voice) joined the band a few months later.  Signing with a solid label and playing good shows is already something memorable, considering that we’ve been active for just one year and with only 5 songs out.

What about the genre that appeals to you / intrigues you? Is it the brutality and the rawness?
Certainly what moves us is the desire to play OSDM in its original fury without getting lost in technical drifts, but trying to focus on all riffs, vocals and blast beats. As you’ve said: we wanted brutality and rawness. Certainly also the typical attitude of the late 80s and early 90s allows us to express ourselves in a direct and sincere direction.

Which bands grabbed you by the throat and influenced you with the sound and songwriting within Reaping Flesh?
Our main influences come from those old school Death Metal legendary bands such as Obituary, Massacre, Autopsy, Death, Morbid Angel, etc …

Let’s keep on talking about your influences and Old School Death Metal in general. In your opinion which historical release or releases absolutely defines the genre and style you’re playing? Is it Autopsy’s “Severed Survival”, Death’s “Scream Bloody Gore”, Massacre’s “From Beyond”, the Morbid Angel demos or maybe something else?
For every member of the band these albums are fundamental listening , we can’t choose one, we believe that all of them have given the structural basis for the birth and evolution of death metal. They complement and influence each other and have something to say nowadays, still, to us who are setting a “new” OSDM band in 2022. These bands basically created something unique.

Lets move on to your debut EP “Abyss of Existence” (CD & Cassette released by Redefining Darkness Records)…
It’s been a harsh selection of riffs, drum beats and vocals. Months rehearsing and trying all sorts of song structures, tunes etc … We wanted to be sure that our EP would have ended being direct and raw, that after 40 years people are still able to write original Death Metal songs that actually aren’t just copy/paste from other bands. Our artwork is visibly inspired by the records that came out in the late 80s and early 90s, it well represents the EP’s vibe. I’m (Andrea) the one mostly in charge of all the lyrics. We wanted to talk about the meaning of existence and the role of humankind in this world. Starting from some questions that I had about all this, I’ve decided to underline the music and the atmospheres that the EP has.

Happy with the EP, when you listen back to it after recording it months ago?
We are very happy with the final result, in all aspects that pleases and satisfies us, both the music, the sound, the artwork and the lyrics. The recordings went very well, it all came together very spontaneously and we felt extremely comfortable with each other as with who was behind the mixer, Carlo Meroni.

How did you get in contact with the releasing label Redefining Darkness Records?
Marco (guitarist) , contacted directly a few labels, and after some proposals we’ve decided to move forward with Redefining Darkness Records. We do like loads of Redefining Darkness bands, and we really appreciate the way Thomas (label manager) promotes and supports the whole scene. He’s a pure and sincere Death Metal fan as us, and it’s mainly the reason why we’ve connected that well together for our EP.

The EP is released on both CD and Cassette. Would you like to have something on vinyl as well? What do both formats mean to you, as a recording artist but also as a collector?
In our band we are all collectors. All three medias for us are very valid and effective, certainly cassettes have a special fascination both for the memories they stir and for the format they have, without underestimating the quality of the audio they retain, as for vinyls. Marco has a visceral love for CDs, Federico and Andrea more into vinyls nowadays.

What are the (near) future plans concerning Reaping Flesh?
We want to be able to play as many shows as possible and to push our music everywhere. In the meantime we are working on new material that will be part of our first full length. We want to continue on this path, to make progress in order to improve more and more the sound we’re offering and consolidate what characterizes us.

If my information is correct, you aren’t (actively) involved with other acts and/or projects at the moment. Is this correct? Any plans maybe…to start a project or band…or joining another act?
All three of us are mainly concentrating on Reaping Flesh and are devoting a lot of energy to this band, but we all have other projects as well.

Are you involved in any other way in the music scene?
Marco is a tattoo artist and illustrator, and Federico works as a booking agent and has been touring for the past 10+ years as a musician/TM/mercher/etc.

Any other bands of your region of Italy that are worth mentioning and to check out for our readers?
The Italian scene is growing a lot and is pumping out really interesting bands. If we had to name a few, especially in our area we would say Fulci, Miscreance, Maze of Sothoth, Extirpation, Total Recall, Golem of Gore, Hateful, Burial, Putridity, Cosmic Putrefaction and the very young Mass Carnage.

Also do you have favorite labels you always keep an eye on when they announce a new release? Or any favourite zines, distros…illustrators?
Well yeah, we always try to keep up to date when it comes down to new bands or records.

Among the labels we can name: Redefining Darkness, Relapse, Metal Blade, Pulverised, 20Buckspin, Maggot Stomp, among the main ones. We are also very focused on graphics and illustrations and therefore follow various artists, including Ed Repka, Riddick, Hayden Hall, The Creep, Roh Halus Mu, Andrea Leoni (Necrospectrum), LRNZ.

The fanzines, webzines and the world of zines is really rich and complex, definitely the local Unholy, then your VM is a very interesting reality, Decibel, Metalitalia, but really the list could be endless. As distributors, the ones we follow the most, surely we can mention Evil Greed, Night Shift and Torn from the Grave.

Well, thank for considering VM-Underground an interesting zine. We appreciate the gesture. Is there something I’ve forgotten to ask you which you would like to mention?
I think we’ve been analyzing all aspects of what concerns our band and we hope to be able to see each other in the real world one day! Thank you for your time and interest on our first EP, “Abyss of Existence”, which can be found via the links in the info section (below). If anyone wants to get in touch with us, visit our Instagram account (also below) or email thisisreapingflesh@gmail.com