Mind-melted to the gills, Defleshed’s Fast Forward has “Sweden” written all over it, but that’s not to say it’s derivative in the least. Actually, Defleshed’s third album acutely — and I stress that — balances their native land’s metals, both old and new (or, to be specific, the comparative forms of both terms), the trio drawing as much influence from the face-frying grind of early Entombed and Unleashed as they do from the progressive pyrotechnics of later At the Gates and In Flames.
Any way you cut it, Fast Forward is a splattered n’ shattered death-metal romp that fast forwards as much as it rewinds, so, in theory, the record is all the more progressive and, thus, all the better for it, insistently challenging regressive-minded metal-types who think you can’t riff tricky without slaying a few victims along the way. And riff tricky Defleshed often does, guitarist Lars slipping copious amounts of disorienting syncopation into his crew’s acidic cocktail, the rhythm section of bassist/screecher Gustaf and drummer Matte racing just as fast to the blackened finish line, the end result being nothing short of a swift, abortive kick to the stomach of mankind. To justly cement matters in an even firmer foundation, the band’s self-production plasters the proceedings with the most scorched guitar distortion in recent memory, the only analogue being a deliberate, death-metalized take on that of Minor Threat’s Filler EP. Seriously, this record will burn you to a crisp.
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