Afterbirth - Four Dimensional Flesh review



Reviewer:
9.0

23 users:
7.30
Band: Afterbirth
Album: Four Dimensional Flesh
Release date: March 2020


01. Beheading The Buddha
02. Spiritually Transmitted Disease
03. Girl In Landscape
04. Everything In Its Path
05. Never Ending Teeth
06. Minimum Safe Distance
07. Rooms To Nowhere
08. Swallowing Spiders
09. Dreaming Astral Body
10. Black Hole Kaleidoscope
11. Four Dimensional Flesh


Brutal death metal, as technical as it often is, has remained pretty stagnant in the past years and missed most developments that death metal has had in the past decade. Enter Afterbirth.

Technically Afterbirth have entered a long time ago, having been formed in 1993. The short two year stint aside (one that was compiled in the Foeticidal Embryo Harvestation compilation), Afterbirth were reformed in 2013, and it seemed like they would finally release their debut album when their lead singer, Matt Duncan, passed away. Replaced by Artificial Brain's Will Smith (I too wish it was that Will Smith we're all thinking of) and finally released The Time Traveler's Dilemma. What I found most compelling about this is that the same folks who were around when brutal death metal was in its infancy, are around to take it forward too. I have to admit that brutal death metal and slam are two of the metal genres I care about the least. So when I first listened to The Time Traveler's Dilemma's dilemma I wasn't sure if I would buy into all the hype it generated, but it blew me away. Years later, we finally have a follow-up with Four Dimensional Flesh.

This is, after all, brutal death metal, so expect to feel that in spades. The vocals are still those gurgly gutturals, and those will be the thing that strikes you first. The drums often go into the trademark blast beats and you're certain to find plenty of slams. All fine and dandy, but just like The Time Traveler's Dilemma, Four Dimensional Flesh brings so much more into that to make it sound like the most brutal take on space retro-futurism you'll hear. As much as it slams and gurgles, it's still filled with the wonder of the vastness of space, and of humanity's place in this whole thing. And to give some life to that feeling, it's also a lot more atmospheric and progressive than even its predecessor.

I admit that its progressive and atmospheric tendencies are still more subtle than I would want them to be. It's easy to listen to this, register the brutal death metal part and just keep listening to it as a brutal death metal album, since this is the most initially striking thing about it. And it's pretty hard to see the instrumental as progressive when you have Will Smith spilling gurgles over it. That's the beauty of it. You really don't see the expansive interludes coming, but when they do, it's a sign that there's some attention to be paid. Once "Girl In Landscape" comes around, it feels like the brutality subsides a bit to make it just a bit easier to feel just how intricate and progressive it really is, and it really helps that the production is not only top notch but it also doesn't overpower the vocals, as is the case with a lot of brutal death metal. So it often feels like it juggles between some Visceral Disgorge, some mid-era Death, and putting some Deftones in between. Rarely is there an album where the interludes actually play such an important role in changing how the album is perceived.

Every player here is obviously in really great form, but they don't really engage in technicality for the sake of technicality the way a lot of brutal/tech death bands do. There's a rhyme and a reason to everything. It's brutal and straightforward when it needs to be. It's technical and intricate when it needs to be. It's expansive and atmospheric when it needs to be. It doesn't shy away from any of those, and it doesn't shy away from putting them side by side and showing how they're not actually mutually exclusive. A death metal album can be progressive even if the vocals sound like the vomiting of guts. A death metal album can sound transcendental and still slam.

Now that they showed that it can be done, brutal death metal has no excuse to stagnate. Get on with the times.



 



Written on 09.05.2020 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 11   Visited by: 96 users
09.05.2020 - 23:41
MetalManic
No kidding. I haven't heard this vocal style in ages. I don't know if it's just that I tend to listen to the genre or the fact that it indeed has stepped back. Good stuff man.
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www.MetalManic.com
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09.05.2020 - 23:44
MetalManic
Trauma Moralis comes to mind
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MetalManic
www.MetalManic.com
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09.05.2020 - 23:45
DeliciousDishes
I like it so much and it makes for such an easy listen too (compared to a lot of other death metal for me); it also knows when to end things, is catchy and unique and gives me that warm feeling that extreme metal is usually opposed to. Can't really describe why I love it so much, but I do.
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10.05.2020 - 00:01
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by MetalManic on 09.05.2020 at 23:44

Trauma Moralis comes to mind

Never heard of them, honestly
----
- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.




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10.05.2020 - 00:01
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by DeliciousDishes on 09.05.2020 at 23:45

I like it so much and it makes for such an easy listen too (compared to a lot of other death metal for me); it also knows when to end things, is catchy and unique and gives me that warm feeling that extreme metal is usually opposed to. Can't really describe why I love it so much, but I do.

It's such a huge contrast, I can't believe it
----
- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.




2020 goodies
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10.05.2020 - 06:21
Skoda
This is insanely cool and pretty damn unique! I totally slept on their last album and I'm glad I didn't with this one.
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Sleeping on his laurels.
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10.05.2020 - 19:08
Cynic Metalhead
Atrocious Virgin
Quote:
So it often feels like it juggles between some Visceral Discorge, some mid-era Death, and putting some Deftones in between.


Deftones...wait what? That's a great reference. And over the top, you rated 9. I was planning to spin Cattle Decapitation later tonite, but I got my recommendation.
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11.05.2020 - 00:53
Darkside Momo
Retired
Starts just like some usual br00tal shit, then it becomes something else. Nice stuff indeed, thanks for the review!
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"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you"

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I am awake"
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11.05.2020 - 16:30
MetalManic
Written by RaduP on 10.05.2020 at 00:01

Written by MetalManic on 09.05.2020 at 23:44

Trauma Moralis comes to mind

Never heard of them, honestly

I've barely head of them myself. In fact, it was surprising to see them listed on MS.
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MetalManic
www.MetalManic.com
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12.05.2020 - 11:23
DeliciousDishes
Written by RaduP on 10.05.2020 at 00:01

It's such a huge contrast, I can't believe it

our opinions or this album compared to other stuff of the same genre lol
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12.05.2020 - 11:25
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by DeliciousDishes on 12.05.2020 at 11:23

Written by RaduP on 10.05.2020 at 00:01

It's such a huge contrast, I can't believe it

our opinions or this album compared to other stuff of the same genre lol

Yes
----
- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.




2020 goodies
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