Reviewed: November 2022
Released: 2022, War Anthem Records
Reviewer: Sofia Idrissi
A melodic triumph, weighted by an incredibly heavy blend of sound that you cannot resist headbanging to, Iron Flesh kick down the death metal scene with their third album, ‘Limb After Limb’. The Frenchmen have once again proved that death metal is not dead. Their nod to 90’s Swedish old-school death metal will comfort those who prefer their music to have bulldozing drum licks accompanied by raging guitar shredding; listeners must pay attention to the latter half of the album with a keen ear.
Their opening track, ‘Overthrow ov The Sermon ov God’ is just what you would expect with a sinister title: a fast ensemble of distortion that is not too rushed, to get lost in the eerie change of riffs and melodies. The tracks ‘In Agony You Must Reborn’ and ‘Limb After Limb’ both have punishingly heavy riffs interspersed with doom-laden melodies.
After the gloomy and weighty title track, Iron Flesh introduce their next song in an interestingly captivating way. ‘Blessed Be The Creators’ completely changes the feel of the songs before it. By begging the listener’s attention from its repeated lyrics of ‘Blessed Be The Creators’, this song is black. A blackened twist of slowing tempos and ethereal melodies, this blackened death track is akin to your modern-day Behemoth song – a true attention-worthy piece.
This shift continues into track six, ‘Sacrorum Profanationem’, with a short but sweet burst of two and a half minutes of a blackened track you would listen to preparing to see a battle between ghouls and other undead. This blackened touch finally ends with ‘Honor in Death’, where the drumming and guitar pace is picked up again, to smoothly transition into a familiar OSDM track, ‘To Become One with the Dead’. The thrashy introduction of ‘Ghouls March On’ is a nice contradiction to the slower riffs towards the end of the song. ‘Procession of Living Cadavers’ begins with a violin opening that foreshadows the instrumental track’s melancholic tone, a perfectly paced outro of repeated guitar riffs fading into an ever-quitter distortion of silence.
I first listened to this album expecting similar songs to what Iron Flesh gave us in the first half, keeping the pace high, cramming in as many dark melodies as possible whilst often switching to mid-tempo trudges. However, I thought I was listening to another record after track five. This was the turning point for me with their slower tempo and blackened tracks that fit the raspy-voiced lead singer (Julien Helwin) extremely well. The tempo changes, guitar solos and riffs seemed more captivating in the album’s latter half. I wished they reversed the song order to prove to the casual OSDM listener that this is something new; this may be a glimpse of a change in their artistic direction.