DEFLESHED is another one of those projects which I have heard about in passing but have never gotten around to giving an entire album a thorough listen. This has of course changed with the band’s most recent outing, “Reclaim The Beat”, which is the Swedes’ sixth studio album. What we have been served with this release is a thick long-player featuring good production and a plethora of strong riffs. “Reclaim The Beat” sets out as an aural assault upon the listener and is intent on bursting ear drums and slitting throats; both of which it accomplishes to a certain degree.
The album does have a noticeably heavy production courtesy of Daniel Bergstrand who has worked with IN FLAMES, MESHUGGAH and STRAPPING YOUNG LAD. The thick guitar tone and excellent mix are most similar to SYL in my experience and when coupled with DEFLESHED’s signature throat-ripping pseudo-Thrash/Death Metal experience one cannot help but be flattened by intensity. The guitars possess that full sound without feeling too polished or sterile and that is what provides the layered heaviness. The sound accomplished by drummer Matte Modin is also quite fantastic as the deadened snare never grates on the nerves and the toms and bass scream with fury.
What struck me with this album was the excellent musicianship. I had recently had my first experience with DARK FUNERAL and while Matte Modin’s drumming on the album was solid it was nothing spectacular. “Reclaim The Beat” on the other hand features an impressive performance by the skinsman. While keeping up with intense speeds Modin is able to throw in fills and complex patterns which would cause an aneurism in most other performers. Mr. Modin is not the only impressive element of DEFLESHED, however, as guitarist Lars Löfven hands out devastating riffs like pocket change to a group of beggars, or in this case eager fans. The riffage is quite Thrashy at its core yet the overall sound remains very distant from Thrash Metal as a whole; mainly due to drumming, production and song structures. Because of this buried element of Thrash hidden within the compositions, a fresh breath of life is allowed to germinate within the tracks and give the listener a kick to the balls as the end product does facilitate a minor element of the definition of unique.
DEFLESHED will not floor you, they will not rip out your guts and urinate on your entrails, but they do approach that fuzzy realm of “lose control of all bodily functions” and are quite satisfying. The riffs are strong yet not quite as lethal as humanly possible and the vocals are interesting from the standpoint of mixing a bit of Black Metal flair to the Death Metal style yet are not really anything revolutionary. What this outfit accomplishes is simply hitting you with unrelenting no frills Death Metal that is guaranteed to satisfy your most common urges. If that does not happen to be your thing, well, there is always the fact that you get to hear MÖTLEY CRÜE’s “Red Hot” performed with a renewed sense of viciousness. (Online November 25, 2005)