Defleshed - Reclaim the Beat
Regain Records
12 songs (36'00")
Release year: 2005
Defleshed, Regain Records
Reviewed by Alex

Before I started writing this I have done something I rarely do. I have read my own review of the previous Defleshed album Royal Straight Flesh. And then I have done something I probably should do more of, I even listened to Royal Straight Flesh a few times along with many obligatory spins of Reclaim the Beat. Both, the old review and the listens, convinced me that nothing changed much with Defleshed. If you have not lost the love for hard-hitting guitar riffs played at Amtrak speed Defleshed writes their music for you.

If you want to know how unfair music business reality was to Defleshed, follow the link below. It seems, however, that the partnership between Regain and Candlelight USA will turn it around, Reclaim the Beat coming out in the US soon after its European release, something unheard of for Defleshed before. The trio stayed united. Lars Lofven (guitar) and Gustaf Jorde (vocals/bass), composing and helping to produce all the music, are joined on drums by Matti Modin (also in Dark Funeral).

Varying little from direction established with Royal Straight Flesh, Defleshed delivered another album of fast death/thrash songs. I called them previously as subtle as a Caterpillar bulldozer, and I am glad the band has Bulldozed as one of their song titles now. This time around I am going to call their determination to play straightforward thrash very bulldog like and let’s see if they write a song about pitbulls next time. They really should, as this music has temperament of a wicked dog tearing his opponent in a fight. Defleshed music blows my car speakers, makes me arrive to work feeling belligerent and messes with my extremities. My hands and feet move uncontrollably to the sound of the Swedes’ tunes, so when I pass other cars by, the drivers must think I am waiving at a hornets nest formed in my car.

With Reclaim the Beat Defleshed not only reclaimed the beat, it cemented the right to it forever. Indeed, the band has a very characteristic sound to their thrash, which coupled with Modin’s drumming and Jorde’s vocals, can serve as a trademark. They practiced it well enough, and I can hear a lot of critics saying, they even repeated it from time to time on the album. To those who are not into this type of non-compromising death/thrash the whole album will sound like one song which they are going to hate. It is true that the songs blend a little, making it difficult to distinguish one song from the other, but I truly believe the band almost meant it this way – for a fan to experience a 36 min non-stop thrash knockout punch. With this approach Defleshed have no room for intros, acoustics, synths or even leads. Their constantly shredding riffs have some interesting trailing sound-offs, and that is as much melody as you are going to get (Abstinence for Turbulence, May the Flesh Be With You). The only time the speed slows down a notch is on Ignorance is Bliss giving the song an At The Gates/the old The Haunted nod. I have to say, however, that Red Hot (cover?), which allows for melodious bridge, chorus, and, hard to believe, even a brief lead, looks spicy and attractive in the middle of the album. The band will do very well if they start self-policing, otherwise the word “monotony” may rear its ugly head on the next album.

Modin sounds tighter and more under control than on Royal Straight Flesh and Jorde’s bark is a good fit for the band. Whatever Defleshed did not bring in innovation they made up in sound. Berno Studios did a good job on the previous album, but Dugout with Daniel Bergstrand probably presented Defleshed with the best sound of their career so far. Gone is hollow snare, this music now sounds as scathing as it has to be.

Not making new fans along the way, but certainly not making the enemies out of the old ones Defleshed will appeal to those who enjoy Dimension Zero, Carnal Forge, Corporation 187, The Forsaken and Hate Campaign era Dismember.

Killing Songs :
Grind and Rewind, Red Hot, May the Flesh Be With You, but I'll say you will either like it all or hate it all
Alex quoted 78 / 100
Other albums by Defleshed that we have reviewed:
Defleshed - Royal Straight Flesh reviewed by Alex and quoted 82 / 100
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There are 3 replies to this review. Last one on Wed Aug 10, 2005 10:40 pm
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