PROJECT: FAILING FLESH’s second full-length release ferries listeners through the experimental whirlpools of Modern Thrash but fails to present a streamlined product that overwhelms the senses or captivates even the most receptive ear beyond the first few listens.
The tones on “The Conjoined” have a heavier and purer sound than “A Beautiful Sickness” but at times the digital clarity robs the release of the human element. Darker keyboard passages accentuate the main riffs of tracks like “Final Act Of Treachery,” and a more technical approach appears in the riffs composed by musicians Tim Gutierrez and Kevin 131. The songs cling to Metalcore and Death Metal influences too tightly, resulting in an adulterated flow that grasps the listener’s curiosity but falls short upon delivery.
The title track comes across as the most American contribution on “The Conjoined” with a few driving bass lines and occasional exploits from the brass section. The horns add to the intensity of the track and deserve mention, but fans will not cling to this track beyond a first obligatory listen. “Eve Of Demise” begins with a captivating blast beat and breaks into some rather intriguing Thrash riffs while “The Hand That You’ve Been Dealt” also contains fair experimentation and well-placed accents from a traditional organ. The remainder of “The Conjoined,” however, proves stale and antiquated with riffs verging on the primitive and moronic edge of a Metalcore/Thrash blend that simply lacks the intended power and effect.
Eric Forrest continues to serve as the leading force for P:FF with victimized lyrical themes and a raw, raspy voice that at times borders on melodic. A high-pitched and gravelly tone dominates Forrest’s performance, providing ample opportunities for comparison to his former contributions to VOIVOD; however, nothing new resides here either. Although not entirely unfavorable, “The Conjoined” seems quite stillborn in comparison to what many will expect of this long-awaited release.
(Online August 20, 2007)