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Album Of The Month August 2011
Nader Sadek | ‘In The Flesh’

For years now I’ve wanted a death metal band to believe in. It’s taken a long time – but finally, three of the most talented names in metal’s recent history have formed an unlikely partnership to provide it. The result is nothing short of scorching, and it’s a cd that every metalhead should own.

I know nothing of Nader Sadek, save that he made some metalwork stuff for Mayhem tours, and acts as a sort of auteur to the music of the crew he’s assembled for this album. Depending on what you read, he’s a composer, musical director and general visionary behind these compositions. He must also be a fucking death meal genius.

So who, pray tell is he conducting? Just read the list. Rune Erikson, aka Blasphemer on guitars. One of the most underrated and talented guitarists in the underground, he’s responsible for the riffs behind the ever cool Aura Noir. He’s also more commonly known for his time in Mayhem, and therefore having penned the oppressive, dark and thunderously unforgiving ‘Ordo Ad Chao’ breathtaker.

Welcome back, Steve Tucker. How we’ve missed that fearsome bellow! As if to remind us all that we’ve been rudderless since he left the now senile Morbid Angel, he provides the kind of fist in the face vocal so beloved of ‘Formulas Fatal To The Flesh’ across each of these tracks. It’s a standout death metal performance, uncompromising and deep, guttural to the last.

And get this: Flo Mournier. Yes – the death metal drummer extraordinaire whose standout performance on that epochal release of our time – ‘Blasphemy Made Flesh – remains hard to beat even now. It’s been sad to watch Cryptopsy’s decline of late. From their ill fated reunion with Lord Worm, through to the groovy bollocks of the last one, DM fans everywhere have been weeping bitter tears over his seemingly wasted talent. Well hear this: it’s back.

He literally destroys the drumkit on this album, as phalanx after phalanx of blasts, rolls and mountain rumbling double kick pour out of the speakers like an earthquake. Plus there isn’t a trigger to be heard! The snare is airy, free and real – a joy for repeat listens, and an excuse once again to marvel at this man’s insane capabilities.

So many supergroups fail to rise to the sum of their parts. This excels that sum, and sounds like these three have been playing together all their lives. What is that sound exactly? Well, it’s almost precisely like ‘Formulas’ meets ‘Ordo Ad Chao’. It’s rich, dark and earthy, heaving and bubbling with all manner of malevolent harmonies and maledictions.

Every death metal need is catered for over these nine exquisitely brutal tracks. Blast, grind, pelt, groove, rock, experimentation and heads down headbanging. Just feel the opening blast of ‘Petrophilia’ , as it froths in a gurgling lava of brutal, death metal intensity – you haven’t heard such a thing since ‘Bil Ur Sag’, in its controlled fury and pure weight.

This follows right through until the enormous, celestial ‘Nigredo In Necromance’. This closing track slows down, opens out and cranks up one of the most anthemic and neck tingling riffs you will hear this year. Remember the feeling the first time you heard ‘Invocation Of The Continual One’? It’s like that. What a rush.

I’ve referenced loads of Morbid Songs in here. But make no mistake: this is its own album, full of personality and determined vision. It’s just a feel thing, and even ‘In The Flesh’ contains enough of latter day Mayhem to satisfy those with tastes at the opposite end of the extreme metal spectrum.

There’s not a clean guitar on it, nor a clean vocal. Just detailed, pummelling savagery of the best musical kind, ploughed forth by experts. Get a hold of this and dig into for months. Feel every listen its enormous kinetic energy.

You know, it’s no wonder it sounds like it does. These three guys are the underground’s underdogs – none of them have had it particularly good. Each of the bands they’ve come from have in one way or another been dodgy in latter years. This is their unequivocal answer. Their own talents are on display here in a way that should be written in the flames of their burning past albums.

It is an effervescent, amazing, occult and singly essential album that your collection cannot seriously be without. You’re commanded to buy it this second. In a decade of writing about extreme music, this is one of the best cds I’ve ever had the pleasure of recommending. And wholeheartedly so.

4.9 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 09/08/11

  1. Sounds interesting…..

  2. This is a good album,good to see Tucker involved with DM again.That said, I wouldn’t be losing my mind over it,it’s solid stuff but I can’t help but be reminded of MAs’Heretic’with some of the vocal parts which puts a bogus slant on it for me as I don’t like to be reminded of that particular album.

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