Flourishing – The Sum Of All Fossils (The Path Less Travelled Records)

Friday, 22nd March 2013
Rating: 8/10

The type of album that spits and gnashes at you, Flourishing’s The Sum Of All Fossils isn’t your mother’s grindcore album, nor is it emblematic of anything else involving the “core.” Rather, it’s just an ugly album. Ugly like a botched fake field goal. Ugly like the furriest patch of back hair. You figure it out and go from there. Yet, ingrained are these little doses of melody that pull the album back in, almost making the above-mentioned ugliness look like a thing of beauty. Then again, whoever finds furry back hair attractive is beyond me. And botched fake field goals are only cool when the team doing the faking is playing against the Cleveland Browns.

Riffs and drums are tossed around like ragdolls here, with the band’s very-aggro riff ideas serving to hold down the fort while any general sense of structure is clearly not a consideration. Such tactics work quite well on the raw opener “A Thimble’s Worth” and the daunting “In Vivid Monochrome,” where a tribalistic drum roll is immediately captivating. Shards of late 90’s-era Napalm Death (thinkInside the Torn Apart) pop up on “By Which We’re Cemented,” serving as one of the album’s better tracks.

Potential song title of the year goes to “As If I Bathed In Excellence,” a slogan the band would be wise to brand on t-shirts, something that self-absorbed people (like this scribe) would pick up at the drop of a hat. To their good fortune, the song is king among the album’s eight selections, with a sweltering selection of dissonant riffs that eventually lead to a gnarly melodic section that effectively climaxes the album.

Quite difficult to pin Flourishing down; they’re essentially a hybrid of sorts, but with a clear initiative on creating some whacked-out music that finds a sense of coherence in the clutches of riffs and ideas that aren’t pretty. The Sum Of All Fossils is a challenging body of work, but for those who can caught the drift when Napalm Death or Discordance Axis were causing a sonic melee and thinking outside of the grindcore box, then this will probably make a lot of sense.

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(This content originally appeared on Blistering.com)