Artist: Abated Mass of Flesh
Album: Brutal Death
Life and death are said to exist in a dialectic cycle, one never truly reigning over the other. Even in the darkest, most downtrodden times—riddled with plague, famine, pestilence and death, there remains life—a light, of sorts. However, even when that light shines at it’s absolute brightest, there is still the pervasive hint of darkness; the shadows which must arise from such incessantly vibrant brilliance. Abated Mass of Flesh, a faith-filled slamming deathcore band hailing from Tennessee is proof-positive evidence of this. While their latest release, Brutal Death is eighteen minutes of relentless slam death heaviness, it also features marvelously well-done and intricate riffing and instrumentation which caresses the listener’s ears, even as it tears them off. In short, Brutal Death is a crushing, dark and dissonant release which still manages to provide enough atmosphere and moments of synchronous wonder to keep the listener completely entranced.
Abated Mass of Flesh play a unique brand of slam-infused deathcore—yes, you read that right: Unique and Slam in the same sentence—which is nothing but enjoyable for the listener. Brutal Death, even in spite of its generic and off-putting album title is a creative fusion of seemingly infinite heaviness and fathomless accents of atmosphere. However, in order to fully understand how these two elements work together in elegant harmony, first it is helpful to take a look at how they work individually of one another.
Brutal Death is, in some ways, welcoming to existing fans of the genre. Abated Mass of Flesh waste no time in providing a bear hug of sinister slams and spine-shrinking heaviness. “Mouth of the Tomb” features an opening riff and a series of lacerating blast beats which induce cranial prolapse upon their listener. In fact, all of Brutal Death is home to only the fastest and most intense drumming which slows only to accentuate the pace-busting heaviness of the slams they induce. Right alongside the pulverizing percussion are the incessant, skull-battering guitars. “The Killer in Me” is home to non-stop shredding and chugging attacks which whittle away at the listener’s sanity, breaking their bones and rending their flesh. Likewise, “Parasitic Contamination” is a track which showcases the percussion and the guitars working in a tag-team styled assault: when one is slamming and crushing at the listener’s head and chest, the other is holding the listener’s legs still so they are unable to flee. Together, the drums and guitars—along with the harsh, par-for-the-course squealed and gutturally-bellowed vocals alike—wage a complete invasion on the listener’s head, taking no hostages when it comes to their peace of mind.
True—Abated Mass of Flesh play fast and heavy, and slam even heavier. But what makes Brutal Death different from the average slam deathcore release is the band’s ability to include subtle amounts of atmosphere and dynamic songwriting into the mix. “Mouth of the Tomb” opens with a haunting, spine-chilling introduction which “sets the mood” for the crushing heaviness of the slams to come, while “Incarceration” makes use of melodic touches of synth and dynamic tempo changes to provide variation. All the while, several tracks feature clips from movies and news reports which pertain directly to the band’s message—one which lies heavily in their faith and socio-political viewpoints—to keep things fresh and free from monotony. While these clips play, the instrumentation takes on a crunchy, albeit steady candor to keep the listener’s attention focused on one aspect of the album, giving them a brief mental break.
However, it’s sections where the prolapse-inducing heaviness and the spine-chilling atmosphere work together where Brutal Death is at its strongest. “Iniquitous Decimation” uses a clip played over a simply heavy breakdown to attack the listener. The high points of the band’s dialectic can be found in “Skin Stripped Away,” which lives up to it’s name exceptionally well—as it strips away the skin surrounding the listener’s ears and leaves them with nothing—not even their sanity.
Abated Mass of Flesh are a young but exceptionally talented slamming deathcore band which deserve your attention not just for their age, or for their “eh, that sounds cool” name, but for their talent. True—Brutal Death—sounds corny and clocks in at a meager 18 minutes, but, in those brief minutes, the listener is subjected to the most pure forms of aural torture and agony—and the equally beautiful moments of serene redemption that lie beyond them.
For Fans Of: Ingested, Every Knee Shall Bow, Necrophagist, Catalepsy
By: Connor Welsh