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Defleshed
Reclaim the Beat
May 2005
Released: 2005, Regain Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Madman

It’s been almost 14 years since the Swedish band Defleshed formed and about 11 since they released their debut MA BELLE SCALPELLE ep; so for all of 11 years I’ve been sitting in the dark about this amazing thrashing death metal band. Sure, I’d heard a few mp3’s here and there, but I barely paid attention and now I’m paying for the apathy I’d shown the band prior.



Defleshed play thrashing death metal, not unlike other Swedish bands like The Crown, although I’m starting to think I’d argue that Defleshed are leading the pack in their field. The band is very up tempo and rarely slows things down, there’s really no breakdowns like one has come to expect from this style. Drummer Matte Modin is rather liberal with his use of blastbeats but they never bog things down or turn the songs into a test of endurance.. Vocalist/bassist Gustaf Jorde uses a vocal style that’s rather synonymous with this style right now, that of a slightly higher pitched death metal vocal, not screaming but definitely not a guttural growl either. The riffs are razor sharp and one thing I tend to notice is that even during the blastbeat sections the guitars (as well as the drums) have a certain amount of groove to them, which is certainly a different feel than most bands tend to give as bands tend use sections like these to blow the listener away, where as Defleshed use them in a more song-oriented way. Defleshed do not utilize solos in their songs, which may turn out to be a major turn off for some listeners, although I don’t mind it whatsoever as the songs are so intense and in your face that you don’t miss them, you don’t even have time to think about it before another riff flies at you. I would assume that as a 3 piece the band decided not to include solos as it could end up leading to very open sections in a live situation, losing the intensity that the band utilizes so well.



Opening with “Stripped to the Bone” the band starts off fast. One will instantly get my point about “groovy blast beats” as this song utilizes them right from the beginning and is based around these sections; mixed with more straight beats that have a much thrashier riff to accompany them. “Chain Reaction” opens with a an interesting sound clip before a nice, and extremely short, groove riff starts. This groove riff is then modified slightly to fit the faster pace, based on the “typical” thrash one-two drum beat. The slower (and by slower, I mean relative to the rest of the music on the album) sections in this song is extremely enjoyable and I probably be surprised to hear them on an old thrash album. “Under Destruction” starts off with that familiar thrash beat again before it ends up modified into a blast beat. The section of the first verse with just drums and vocals, the guitars just adding accents, is killer. It’s interesting they didn’t use that as the main base for the verse but I think it keeps the listener on their toes.



After all this insane original thrash an interesting cover shows up as track 7. A thrashed up take on Motley Crue’s “Red Hot”, with blast beats underneath the chorus. Even with the added intensity and speed the song is still instantly recognizable; I didn’t even look at the track listing prior to putting the album on but still recognized it in the first 10 seconds. The pun infested title of “May the Flesh Be With You” would indicate a song to scoff at, but right after the first riff hits you like a kick in the chest you won’t be laughing anymore. The gang chorus is a very nice touch.



Defleshed are relentless in their brand of modern thrashing death metal, they don’t let up for a second and it’s just riff upon riff with as much speed and intensity as they can muster. RECLAIM THE BEAT isn’t just an album, it’s a workout and I can whole heartedly recommend this to just about anyone.
Track Listing

1. Stripped to the Bone
2. Abstinence for Turbulence
3. Chain Reaction
4. Reclaim the Beat
5. Grind and Rewind
6. Under Destruction
7. Red Hot
8. Bulldozed (Back to Basic)
9. Ignorance is Bliss
10. May the Flesh be with You
11. Needless to Pray
12. Aggroculture
13. Over and Out

Lineup

Gustaf Jorde - Bass, Vocals
Lars Löfven - Guitar
Matte Modin – Drums


Next review: » Defleshed - Reclaim the Beat
Previous review: » Defleshed - Fast Forward – The special edition re-mastered

Defleshed
Reclaim the Beat
July 2005
Released: 2005, Regain Records
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

Defleshed is well known by all fans of extreme death/thrash metal. They were founded by guitar player Lars Löfvén back in 1991, the debut MCD came 94 and was named MA BELLE SCALPELLE. During 96, the band was joined by one of the fastest and most skilled drummers in the world: Mathias Modin (also a member of Dark Funeral). In 2002 the band signed on for their current label and released the album ROYAL STRAIGHT FLESH. Their next album FAST FORWARD came the following year and it was re-released ‘cause the original release from 1999 was sold out and wasn’t available in any store.



Defleshed are a three piece band and besides Mathias and Lars we have Gustaf on lead vocals and bass.



All of the music and lyrics on this 12 track album are written by Lars and Gustaf and among these songs they have put a cover of Mötley Crüe’s song “Red Hot”. It looks like Gustaf and Lars have played with words and titles this time ‘cause the songs are called “Stripped to the bone”, “Bulldozed (back to basic)”, “Grind and rewind”, “May the flesh be with you” and “Over and out”.



The material sounds really great and nothing out of the ordinary when it comes to this band - you know what you’re going to get when you buy an album with Defleshed. The titles of the songs point out that the band doesn’t take themselves too seriously, that’s something that’s quite rare in the music industry and that’s only positive. The full title of the album is apparently “an audio assault RECLAIM THE BEAT in twelve rounds”.



The band chose to stay in their home town of Uppsala and record the album in Dug-Out Studio by Daniel Bergstrand (In Flames, Meshuggah, Strapping Young Lad etc). It was mixed by Daniel and Örjan Örnkloo and produced by Lars and Gustaf.



Gustaf and Lars have captured the essence of Defleshed and you can instantly hear when you pop in the album that this is the death/thrash trio from Uppsala. The music is extremely hard and furious as well as brutal and aggressive. Mathias’ fast drum play and Gustaf’s brutal lead vocals are at the top of the mix. Add to that Lars’ mean guitar play and you have what Defleshed are all about.



The only song that contains lead guitar is the cover “Red Hot” and I think that they have really managed to do this cover totally in their own way, it sounds like a song by their own and that’s the was a cover should sound in my book.



Mathias shows once again that he’s one of the best drummer in the world today, his really energetic and extremely fast and I don’t understand how he can keep up the amazing speed he has through a whole show.



Defleshed took their first trembling step towards today’s sound on the album UNDER THE BLADE from 97. By the time they refined their sound and on the 99 year album FAST FORWARD they had found a solid ground to stand on and by know they have absolutely got their own style and sound, you can compare this band to Motörhead, Dio and Saxon in the way that you always known what you can expect. I don’t think that they can take this any further musicwise without changing profile or music genre but on the other hand why change a winning concept. The guys calls their music style solid metal and that’s just what it is.



I’m a big fan of Defleshed and this album is a success in my ears. The only thing that I’m not too happy about is the short play time: they run through 12 tracks on 36 minutes and that’s quite short if you look on the price for a CD today in Sweden. Besides this I have only positive comments about RECLAIM THE BEAT.



The cover looks really brutal just like the music is and I can’t imagine that any older fans are going to be disappointed by this album. This is well played death/thrash metal at it's absolutely best and the guys wants to RECLAIM THE BEAT from all the crappy music we hear nowadays.
Track Listing

Tracklist:

1) Stripped to the bone
2) Abstinence for turbulence
3) Chain reaction
4) Bulldozed (back to basic)
5) Under destruction
6) Grind and rewind
7) Reclaim the beat
8) Red hot (cover)
9) May the flesh be with you
10) Needless to pray
11) Ignorance is bliss
12) Aggroculture
13) Over and out

Lineup

Gustaf Jorde – lead vocals, bass
Lars Löfvén – guitar
Mathias Modin – drums


Next review: » Defleshed - Royal Straight Flesh
Previous review: » Defleshed - Fast Forward – The special edition re-mastered





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