The Pete Flesh Deathtrip – Mortui Vivos Docent (Pulverised Records)

Tuesday, 23rd July 2013
Rating: 8/10

Pete Flesh (he of Deceiver, Maze of Torment, and Thrown fame) is hardly a prominent name in death metal circles, but hey, when trying to get your name out there, what better way than to name your band after yourself? It’s a total Dave Mathews move and look how it turned out for him: millions of college preppies hang on his every word, even though his tour bus once dumped feces onto a boat in Chicago. That’s how you know you’re untouchable! Flesh’s Mortui Vivos Docent release isn’t on DMB levels (psych!), but it’s a sterling piece of classic death metal that is surprisingly fresh right out of the gate.

Flesh doesn’t go at it alone here – he’s joined by Andreas Jonsson on drums and Micke Broberg for session vocals, but accordingly, the death metal ship is in his steer. Opener “Fallen Bliss” lays the tarp; where upon a side-swiping groove collides with doses of extremity. It’s frothy and rocking at the same time, conscious of how to stay in line with the style’s more brutal acts. The quickened “Crave the Fire” has riffs that buzz like maniacal hornets, ones that even harmonize themselves. (Maybe “Harmonized Hornets” should be the name of a band. Probably not.) Variety gets its airtime via the creepy “The Suicide End,” while a black metal-like mid-tempo charge leads “Raven’s Reborn” (love that mid-song crunchy riff).

A fist in the face of retro death metallers who are bereft of fresh ideas, Mortui Vivos Docent is as sinister as they come. The Pete Flesh Deathtrip might get some looks based on their name alone…and they have the tunes to back up the prying minds of the curious.

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