We often cover avantgarde black metal on the blog; the genre’s weirdness is an acquired taste but, once acquired, it’s also one that’s incredibly hard to shake off. It’s also a style that seen somewhat of a boom in recent year, with multiple amazing albums releasing in the last few years. But we don’t see nearly enough of is avantgarde death metal. When you think about it, it makes sense: there’s some ponderous and dark about death metal that doesn’t lend itself in quite the same way to the flair and pomposity of the avantgarde in the same way that black metal does. Which is, of course, not say that it can’t.
Enter Fleshvessel and their Bile of Man Reborn, an experimental, decidedly avantgarde, and frankly challenging album that uses death metal as its foundation. From the get go, the darker sound of the album, the deeper vocals, the pronounced riffs, the present drums, all scream death metal. There’s blackened elements in there, to be certain, but mostly, this album is very clearly of the death metal persuasion. But that’s really just the start; within the first five minutes you can find scintillating piano, odd riff structures that leave the mind reeling, and vocals which are just a bit more flamboyant than the base genre goes for.
And that’s before everything goes quiet on that five minute mark, leaving room for what’s next. You might be anticipating some sort of pseudo-folk passage here, so beloved of bands who want to appear progressive but can’t be bothered to put in the time. But no; here, the quiet interlude leads to bombastic synths, possessed of that off-kilter, theatrical mode that is avantgarde through and through, backed by prominent and far-flung bass. That all builds up to a wild guitar solo before everything culminates back to the muscular and overwhelming intensity that first characterized the track, all while the synths continue to wail in the background.
And we’ve only covered just about eight minutes out of a twenty four minute track/EP. There’s plenty of more stomach curdling twists and turns along the way as the release bounces between absolutely punishing blackened death and experimental escapades. Look, you’re just going to have to listen to it yourself. And buy it as well. Happy travels.