Released: 2008, Pulverised Records
Reviewer: Kyle Moore, the Metal Magnus
Having your own one-man-band has its advantages. You can record any song you like, any way you like it, and nobody can tell you what to do otherwise. A Swedish fellow by the name of Pete Flesh has done just this for his personal musical project, designed somewhat as a tribute to the late Chuck Schuldiner. Naming the band after himself (which was named after one of Death’s songs,) “Flesh” is a quirky throwback to speedy old-school death metal with some curveballs thrown in.
For the most part, WORSHIP THE SOUL OF DISGUST revels in facesmashing, near-thrashy death metal that thankfully avoids blastbeats and keeps the double kicks to a minimum. Not that I don’t love technical drumming, but it’s refreshing to hear a no-frills approach to timekeeping now and again. Mr. Flesh’s voice thankfully doesn’t sound like a garden variety cookie monster knockoff; instead he has what I’ll describe as a “throttled gasp,” almost what I’d imagine a serial killer should sound like while whispering something revolting into a victim’s ear. It’s a unique sound on top of a near-cartoonish Swedish accent, which I deeply appreciate in a musical world where many people sound too much alike.
Though produced in 2008, WORSHIP THE SOUL OF DISGUST has a gritty 80’s feel in its production. The drums have the frenetic thudding reverberation that I remember from old Bathory albums, and the guitars sound like they were tracked on a rusty tape machine. Combined with no-frills instrumentation and “loose” drum sound, WORSHIP feels like it was cut in a garage without sounding sloppy or unintentionally crude.
Now for the quirky bits – Mr. Flesh has purposefully inserted some odd musical segments into his songs ranging from cool jazz, Dixieland piano music, and traditional Italian drinking ditties. These “bits” appear sporadically and infrequently, but they add a mildly humorous effect to songs mostly focused on Satan and violating virgin orifices. Without question, Mr. Flesh has written some (perhaps unintentionally) hilarious song titles, my favorite of which is “My Penis will be your Opera” – and no, I have no idea what that song is really about. Other favorite moments include “Fuck the Romantic – Fuck the Gothic” where Mr. Flesh grunts with some extra menace “You disgust me/I want to kill you/by the order of Satan!” Let it never be said that some heavy metal artists lack a sense of humor.
My main issue with WORSHIP is inconsistent songwriting. Opener “Shatahan” is a killer death/speed metal track with some nasty riffs and some shredding solo guitar moments. “Sadistic Penetration” rides on a nifty lurching groove throughout, and listening to Mr. Flesh gasp out the chorus “Sadeesteek/penetration/sah-deesteek/violation!” atop the moans of tortured females never ceases to make me smile. “My Penis will be your Opera” is a simple, but very evil drum & bass groove atop lyrics I’d rather not comprehend, almost like a death metal version of Megadeth’s “Dawn Patrol.” But this album doesn’t rate beyond a 3/5 because half the songs aren’t particularly engaging. Not that they’re bad, but ho-hummers like “Feast on the Soul” and “Sluts & Whores” don’t stand out in any way. A greater dynamic range and some more midtempo tracks would help create some additional intrigue that could set Flesh apart from the hordes of other small-time death metal bands seeking to stand out.
I will gladly recommend this album to anybody who has a thing for old-school death metal and enjoys getting a chuckle out of their music. Flesh has most of the individual components it needs to become a significant musical force, but Mr. Flesh must improve the consistency of his songwriting and add some less artificial variety into his music before he’ll really grab my beleaguered attention.