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DEFLESHED ‘Reclaim The Beat’ Regain Records(2005)

Defleshed

Once upon a time, in a cold North European country named Sweden, a young guitarist named Lars Lofven decided to form a Metal band which he baptised Defleshed. I would be lying if I was to say that I know exactly what this very ambitious musician had in mind at the time, but I somehow cannot believe that it was anything rather than to torture our poor ear drums with his malicious thrash Metal riffs. One of his very first partners in crime, drummer Oskar Karlsson, left the band in 1996, two years after the release of the bandís first studio album 'Ma Belle Scalpelle', in order to join the ranks of Raised Fist.

That didnít seem to stop Lars from pursuing his dream. Soon after the departure of Karlsson, Mathias Modin came to fill the gap and with Gustaf Jorde handling the bass and vocal duties, Defleshed witnessed the creation of the bandís steadiest line up. The band continued to release their albums having as their main objective the signing of a contract with a label that would be able to support their musical ambitions. That objective was accomplished in 2002, when the Swedish Metal label Regain Records offered Defleshed a contract. Having made their debut with Regain Records in 2002 with the release of the album 'Royal Straight Flesh', the Swedish trio is once again ready to unleash their uncontrollable fury on all the unsuspecting Metalheads out there with the release of their sixth studio album 'Reclaim the Beat'.

The album kicks off with 'Stripped to the Bone' - an extreme Metal composition which is based on typical Thrashy guitar riffs and double bass drumming. If I was to come across that specific song on one of the numerous compilations which have flooded the Metal market in recent years, I doubt that I would have guessed the bandís real country of origin. Compositions such as 'Abstinence of Turbulence' and 'Reclaim the Beat', will clear things up a bit. Even though the guitars sounds typically Swedish, Jordeís 'hate' vocals combined with Modinís ruthless drumming present Defleshed as an outfit which is willing to combine the aggressiveness of Sodom, with the technicality of At the Gates.

Even though the songs are well prepared and the prospect of such a combination sounds quite promising, I really cannot say that any of the first seven compositions managed to make a huge impression on me. On the contrary, songs like 'Red Hot' with its classic Heavy Metal vibe and 'Ignorance is Bliss' which brings memories from the period when the first wave of Swedish Death Metal scene was at its peak, sound sincere and a lot more interesting.

'Reclaim the Beat' is a fast and heavy album that brings together elements from two geographically different scenes Ė that of the Swedish Death Metal and the 80ís European Thrash Metal. It may not be the most original album in the world, but its well arranged and will definitely appeal to a variety of audiences.

***½

Review by John Stefanis

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly


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