Fleshgore, "May God Strike Me Dead"
Pummeling death metal from the Ukraine, Fleshgore aren't doing anything you haven't heard before, but they do it well. With a love for pinch harmonics that brought warm memories of Forced Entry flooding into my pants and a way over the top vocal attack, not to mention a flaying drummer, "May God Strike Me Dead" is an overall pleasant experience... if your idea of a pleasant experience is being rendered senseless by relentless distortion! Sid's got at least three voices he uses on this album; there's a standard mid-range death metal shout; the one that sounds like Kenny from Southpark singing gutturally, and the one I like to call "Evil Frog Stuck In The Voice Box", and Sid will ply all three of them in the course of a song or even a verse. For a young band, these guys are really quite talented. Max is a solid drummer, Igor's got chops for days on the guitar (and played the bass on this album), and the song writing is solid if unremarkable... they do, however, know enough to back off the pure blasting at times which makes the album far more interesting. They don't back off much, but it is effective and makes me think they've got a bright future.
They're something of an underground sensation at home, and I think they might just win over some people here in the States as well. The production is decent, the playing intense, Sid's got those whacky voices... I think the only criticism I can lay on these guys is that they don't do enough to differentiate themselves from the rest of the death metal pack, but I could accuse most death metal bands of that. Hard to pick out individual songs for special mention, because they do tend to sound very similar; overall though, "May God Strike Me Dead" is technically sound, brutally entertaining, and certainly a bright spot on the global metal map.