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Flesher – Tales Of Grotesque Demise

flesher – tales of grotesque demise


Admitted, on more than one occasion I have labelled Redefining Darkness Records as a thoroughly mediocre label spawning a huge amounts of interchangeable Death Metal records of equally mediocre bands. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I was pleasantly surprised by anything the American label has released – if ever. And although one hit will not change my opinion about the label, truth be told this debut album by Flesher is a true beast of an album.

Flesher, hailing out of Indianapolis, is a new band, only formed back in the summer of 2022 that released their 3-track demo, ‘Murder Sessions’, just a few months after their inception. But apparently the band saw enough and headed straight for the full-length album afterwards. And while I usually have to conclude that a lot of bands nowadays are rushing themselves into the recording of EP’s and full albums, mostly due to the easy access to home studios and the benefits of the internet, Flesher delivers a piece of art that is easily able to compete with the best of the 2023 albums in the Death Metal genre.

The power of ‘Tales Of Grotesque Demise’ mainly lies in the diversity and dynamism of the album. It offers little to none when it comes to originality or adventurous song writing, but what they are serving is meticulously executed. And besides, it sounds both old schooled and authentic as well as modern, finding a perfect middle in between and consequently opting for quite a convincing overall sound. Even the cover artwork of the album can be categorized as classic late 90’s (Brutal) Death Metal. Indeed, ‘Tales Of Grotesque Demise’ is a thoroughly non-progressive Death Metal affair.

Yet, that overall sound is not quite the only thing that feels comfortably familiar. Flesher indeed never tries to reinvent any wheels here, but rather do they just borrow some tried and tested formulas and forge them together into what became ‘Tales Of Grotesque Demise’. The band obviously took trademark Cannibal Corpse elements such as the slower chugging riffs, the slick tempo changes, guitar tone and even a vocal resemblance to Corpsegrinder is evident. The music pummels and crunches alongside such classic Cannibal Corpse records as ‘Vile’ (1995), ‘Gallery Of Suicide’ (1998) ‘Bloodthirst’ (1999) and maybe has the most in common with their ‘Gore Obsessed’-album from 2002. The heavy and crushing guitar sound definitely has the lead the lead and with its non-compressed and non-digital sound it adds to the almost organic feel of those mid-period Cannibal Corpse albums.

So, if you are looking for anything original or progressive, it would definitely be advisable to look elsewhere. But if you have a weak spot for gore-drenched but well-thought out Death Metal done by musicians who clearly now their craft, ‘Tales Of Grotesque Demise’ might be one of the top-picks of 2023. And credit where credit is due, with this Flesher debut album Redefining Darkness Records undoubtedly released one of their best records to date. And, while mentioning that, it is still hard to comprehend that this is really only a debut album, this for sure is more than a promising start.


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