Fleshgore - May God Strike Me Dead
This Dark Reign Recordings
Brutal Technical Death Metal
9 songs (33'50")
Release year: 2006
Reviewed by Alex

My native Ukraine gets in the news once in a while. Orange Revolution a couple of years ago, going all the way to quarterfinals in the World Cup, giving birth to a quality death metal act. All equally important events, and only those ignorant about the world’s geography can call Ukrainian bands Russian and vice versa. Some other sites do, but we won’t. So, let’s not confuse it, Fleshgore is a band from Ukraine, but they speak the international language of death metal with authority.

Fleshgore’s version of the tongue focuses on technical brutality first and foremost. The band is equally adept at blasting it in droves, and then throwing in a measured amount of groove. Fag-End and, especially, Day of Doom and Twisted Reality are prominent in starting out with a ferocious blastbeat only to shift into a groovy rhythm towards the end. Igor Lystopad, at the guitar/bass controls, and also Fleshgore music writer, can be blisteringly fast, and at the same time shift tempos on the dime (No Way Out!). The good riffs on May God Strike Me Dead are punctuated by Max’s dedicated drumming.

Even though I hear a little bit of older Kataklysm in Fleshgore, there is a lot more of European school of thought in their music. Not that much of Swedish variety, but rather the one professed by old Sinister. At the same time, Fleshgore throws in a twisted solo or two, as well as some guitar string slides, reminiscent of Morbid Angel and Trey Azagthoth.

Fleshgore rarely step outside of the brutal castle they have built for themselves. Melody is a rare guest on the album, although it probably would have been a good fit, seeing how well menacing guitars slam right after the dark intro to Passion. Also, some interesting arrangements, like the bells on Day of Doom would have added variety. Igor’s songwriting is solid, but sacrificing a bit of technicality for the sake of a more straightforward song could benefit Fleshgore’s sound.

Sid’s vocals are where May God Strike Me Dead had me lost on occasion. Unintelligible cookie monster grunt is fine, this is death metal after all, an occasional “cleaner” vomitous shriek (Twisted Reality) is actually welcome, as I can try and make out the lyrics, but Sid is also trying for a superhigh pitch voice, that I, frankly, at first confused with some kind of guitar feedback. In combination with blastbeat this squawk box vocal style looks silly. It takes away from the menace of Fleshgore’s riffs. Maybe it is the result of self-production, the fact that voice got pushed way up and way into the background, but the end result was not good.

As much as I wished to make this a homey pick giving Fleshgore the highest mark, I am obliged to hold off. This is, nonetheless, solid death metal that people into Impiety, Dying Fetus, Skinless and Sinister might enjoy. More variety in the songwriting and better vocal choices (at least to these ears) will push Fleshgore further into the underground limelight.

Killing Songs :
Day of Doom, Passion, Twisted Reality
Alex quoted 71 / 100
Other albums by Fleshgore that we have reviewed:
Fleshgore - Killing Absorption reviewed by Dylan and quoted 30 / 100
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