Defleshed – Grind Over Matter (Metal Blade)

Wednesday, 26th October 2022
Rating: 8.5 / 10

The speedy death/thrash unit Defleshed delivered a punishing brand of material over the course of their initial run during the 1990’s-early 2000’s. By the fall of 2005 six months after the release of the fifth album Reclaim the Beat, frustrations over the lack of proper record label support caused the band to break up. Initially coming back together with a single to add to a proposed vinyl box set (that never materialized), inspiration fuels the trio’s return, signing with Metal Blade for their latest studio offering Grind Over Matter. And its as if time stood still, the sound serrated, frantic while catchy, occasionally hitting that mid-tempo transitional stride as a collective breather before energetic riffing/ blasting measures take over.

Teaming up with Lawrence Mackrory of Darkane at his Obey Mastering Studios ensures a penetrating atmosphere- the guitars, bass, drums, and vocals coming together as one almost as if melting paint off the rehearsal walls. The swarming nature to the riffs from guitarist Lars Löfven matches seamlessly to the up paced snare / kick potency of drummer Matte Modin, as vocalist/bassist Gustaf Jorde fills in those low register tones in his parts but screaming to the sky at savage blood thirst intensity through his word duties. When choosing to stay at a conventional BPM tempo for a full song like “Behind Dead Eyes”, the fills and circular chord progressions/transitions take aspects of Slayer, Destruction, and Venom into a bit of that European finesse flavoring – the closing, measured delivery of the title by Gustaf sending chills down your spine. Otherwise Defleshed waste no time in superfluous sound effects or setups – they throw heads down death/thrash blitzkrieg songs in usually three-minutes or less arrangements (“Bent Out of Shape” the exception at almost four minutes), squeezing out the rage before the next track flattens you to oblivion. If you love Dismember/Entombed death metal next to early Kreator/Destruction thrash, then join the parade of jackhammer winners like “Heavy Haul”, “Blastbeast”, plus appropriately grindy-driven title track.

Music at this point in the lives of Defleshed is not going to be the main career driver to pay the bills – so you know Grind Over Matter comes from a place of passion. We welcome these Swedish veterans back with open arms, as this record captures brutality in lightning quick bursts palatable for most underground maniacs to savor.

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