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A Flourishing Scourge - A Flourishing Scourge

A Flourishing Scourge
A Flourishing Scourge
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 26 June 2017, 11:05 AM

Formed in Seattle, Washington, USA in 2013, Progressive Black/Death Metal band A FLOURISHING SCOURGE presents their debut eponymous full-length album here, released on the own “Begotten Record” label, which contains eight tracks, and a total running time of close to 60 minutes. “Tidal Waves” is the near ten-minute opener. Heavy and brutal from the start, the leading guitar riff is a two-step progression that often accompanies Black Metal music. However, the vocals are more in the Death Metal vein, and the ever-shifting guitars keep a constant sound. The darkness would threaten to overcome you if it continued, but a well-timed interlude rears its head around the three-minute mark, with acoustic guitars and strings. From there the chaos returns. “To The Stench of a Rotting Corpse” opens auspiciously, with peaceful acoustic guitar notes, though the feeling of impending doom is right on your lips. When the track gathers steam, it is wonderfully despondent. Singer Jones croons, “Upon the hill I lie. In the shade of an old willow tree long lived and tired.  Bones and muscles ache, due to time's decay.  It is here, I wish to stay.  To bask in the sun's warm glow, And rot properly…” The riffs are downright bossy here.

“Insatiable” has a tumultuous energy, as you can imagine from the song title. It’s like a gang of fast moving zombies devouring everything in their path, but never feeling full enough to stop. In many ways, this is hell…the lack of satisfaction. “Onerous” means “difficult,” or “laborious.” In this track, Jones talks about the weight he bears, and the lumbering, beefy sound reflects this. It moves slowly and the deep and prolonged vocals paint this burden of pain. But as the track picks up pace, perhaps his anger proves more powerful than his despair. “Awakened” is a brief, three-minute atmospheric track, with lovely piano and strings. This more tender moment does a nice job of breaking up some of the heaviness of the other tracks, and gives you pause for reflection. “Vacant” continues the theme of emptiness that permeates the sound on the album. As something vacant would be, alone and solitude, engaging you first with sweet fruit that soon turns to rot, with thudding blast beat drumming and fast picked guitar notes. The back and forth here gives you hope in the cause of a degrading world, but the malevolent nature of man wins out in the end. This is the best song on the album for me.

“The Hedonist” is an eight-minute instrumental, showcasing some of the band’s sophisticated songwriting structures while still maintaining the aggressiveness of their sound. This is a song that you don’t have to overthink however, and just revel in its majesty. “Solace” closes the album. Again they create that hopeful landscape at first with piano, before stealing it all away in the blink of an eye with a hasty, barbarous sound of malcontent. Each and every time the ethereal passages return, your optimism improves, if only for a while. This is exactly what the album does best as a whole. In way it is torturous, but this is what good music does…it moves you to feel things at a charged level, and to allows you to experience things in a deeper way. Dread is at every turn here, and they do a superb job of pulling you into the world through the medium of music.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Tidal Waves
2. To the Stench of a Rotting Corpse
3. Insatiable
4. Onerous
5. Awakened
6. Vacant
7. The Hedonist
8. Solace
Tye Jones - Vocals, Guitar
Kevin Carbrey - Bass
Andrew Dennis - Lead Guitar
Elijah Losch – Drums
Record Label: Begotten Records


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