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Flaming Wreckage - From Flesh to Dust Award winner

Flaming Wreckage
From Flesh to Dust
by Daniel Stefanov at 03 July 2017, 5:54 AM

"From Flesh To Dust" is FLAMING WRECKAGE's second album after 2013's "Catharsis", which established the band as one of the young pillars of the incredibly strong and productive Australian metal scene. The current release does not deviate from course, further strengthening the band's position as one of the go-to acts in the genre of thrash/death/groove mashups. The sound has evolved, though - it is much more meaty, much more refined. "Catharsis" did not sound bad by any means, however the drums and bass felt a bit disjointed from vocals and guitars. In "From Flesh To Dust" it's all one solid assault, tightly fit together, and served with confidence. The album art is incredibly good and memorable, however it may serve the band to simplify their logo a bit, as its cheesiness doesn't fit the class of their cover art, which is the second great one in a row. Ironically, their first logo style would have been more fitting, but I see how it would attract the wrong crowd.

Regardless, the music shows similar devotion as the cover art, and "Ensnared", which starts with inviting heavy riffs, showcases the quality of the album perfectly. Guitar-driven, built upon brilliant drumming and bass, and with world class growling vocals, the track is executed perfectly and is a very strong opener. The quality of performance is sustained throughout the release, especially in "Bloodstained", which takes the momentum down a notch with a slower, heavy approach, and melodic bridges and choruses. The track has a beautiful atmospheric mid-section and overall is great in mixing melodic guitar-play with hard riffs. "Cataclysm", one of the staples of the release, is a thoroughly enjoyable onslaught of faster and slower sections with great riffs and perfect vocals and rhythm section, it is one of my favorite tracks on the record.

"Thrown To The Wolves" starts the same, but aside from the head-banging mid bridge and decent solo, ends up being a bit too much aggression over a little too little idea. The next track, "Desperation Bleeds", takes on a slower, more doom-inspired sound. With again dominating guitar-play, it manages to create a thick atmosphere and great charge, despite having a perhaps one bit too long instrumental sections for my taste. Then, it all fades to silence, followed by a beautiful, calm, acoustic piece and a heavy melodic finish. It comes as a huge surprise and a very welcome one, as it does so much to underline the depth of the song. "Misguided Disciples"'s vocal execution sounds a bit too aggressive for the underlying music, which makes it feel forced. The worse part is however that the song sounds generic when compared to the last few. "The Onslaught" is exactly what it sounds like for full 4 minutes, unrelenting assault carried out by outstanding guitar work over a massive, solid rhythm section. Then, right after the point of no return, the band take another beautiful turn for slow and atmospheric, with occasional dips of abstraction right till the very end. The titular song "From Flesh To Dust", which closes the album, similar to the opener, is a vivid overview of what the band is all about - rhythmic and melodic meet heavy and brutal in a masterfully engineered clash.

Although the death-inspired moments don't shine with terrible originality, the contrast that the band creates with mixing up melodic and even acoustic pieces, is very memorable. "From Flesh To Dust" is all flesh and nearly no dust, and it eclipses FLAMING WRECKAGE's debut album in every regard. As much as I love finding things to complain about, all of the downsides of this album - the occasional too sleazy vocals, the occasional too long instrumental sections - they are all matter of taste and not actual flaws. Now, the band describe themselves as "melodic thrash", which is a term I will have to disagree with. KREATOR's style is what comes to mind when I hear "melodic thrash", here I would take the cheap CRADLE OF FILTH way out, and just call them "extreme metal", with death, groove and thrash influences. But one genre label or another, the album is very worth listening to. Even though I am not a fan of death and groove, and would prefer my thrash clean, I found "From Flesh To Dust" will be one of my favorite albums this year.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Ensnared
2. Bloodstained
3. Cataclysm
4. Thrown To The Wolves
5. Desperation Bleeds
6. Misguided Disciples
7. The Onslaught
8. From Flesh To Dust
Lineup:
Dave Lupton - Vocals, Guitar
Justin Humphry - Guitar
Lachlan Campbell - Bass
Luke Jackson - Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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Edited 10 December 2019
 

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