01. Mental Illness
02. Inner Thoughts
03. Programming the Herds
04. Weeping Hallucinations
05. Conceptual Flesh
06. State of Desolation
07. Dyslexic Interlude
08. Self-Destructive Loathing
09. Relevant Intoxication
10. Final Nausea
[Metal Blade | 08/03/10]
Tech death is a bit of an iffy genre for me, as it tends to be filled with soulless wank under the guise of stellar musicianship. I let my opinion on the subject known in my Brain Drill review a few months ago, so I wont delve too much into that diatribe. Thankfully however, there are bands out there that know how to be technical and still produce something that’s both listenable and enjoyable, and new Metal Blade signing Fleshwrought are one of those bands.
Formerly known as Fleshrot, Fleshwrought consists of multi-istrumentalist Navene Kopperweis (ex-Animosity, Animals As Leaders) and vocalist Jonny Davey (Job For A Cowboy). Between the two and their musical escapades, a lot of hype and high expectations for their debut record, Dementia/Dyslexia, were built to an uncomfortably high level that lesser men would not have been able to live up to. However, every detail and note of the album’s 32 minutes were carefully crafted and re-examined before they were even signed, and this attention to detail returns on the investment.
The closest musical relative I can think of would probably be the most obvious one, The Faceless. While there are moments on Dementia/Dyslexia that would find themselves right at home on a The Faceless record, this is no mere carbon-copy knock-off; Fleshwrought deserve to be taken in based on their own merits. Like a lot of tech death, this album is a fast-paced mechanical being that is as brutal as it is technical. However, there is a highly explored jazz-fusion influence in some of the composition and guitar leads and solos that may have been carried over from Kopperweis’ work in Animals as Leaders. What’s even more impressive in regards to the jazz-fusion influence is the saxophone solo in “Inner Thoughts” which lends a subtle hint of madness (and class?) to the atmosphere.
Jonny Davey’s vocal work is very fitting for the chaotic environment he was thrown into, and he gives a hell of a performance. I’m not even a fan of Job For A Cowboy, but his vocals are unique and powerful, which is just what this record needs. The only fault I can give him are the random grunts he may do (“EUGH”) sound a little silly, but his lyrical delivery is remarkable. If you are the type of person that doesn’t like Job For A Cowboy, don’t let him dissuade you from giving this a listen.
The production is top-notch and tight, especially when considering this is a side-project recorded in a home studio. Fleshwrought was smart for taking advantage of the this new era of DIY metal by pulling a Periphery and doing everything themselves and parlaying their efforts into a record deal after the fact. Every note rings through clear and discernible, which is a nice change of pace in a genre that tends to muddy over some of the lower notes.
Fleshwrought’s Dementia/Dyslexia is commendable debut record that might just be a surprise hit this year. When it comes to proggy tech death, few do it better than this, which speaks volumes of an act that hasn’t been around all that long. I hope this isn’t just a one-off record, as I’ll be wanting more of this in the future.
Fleshwrought – Dementia/Dyslexia gets