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The Pete Flesh Deathtrip - Mortui Vivos Docent

The Pete Flesh Deathtrip
Mortui Vivos Docent
by Vladimir Leonov at 24 June 2013, 10:01 PM

The Swedish band formerly known as FLESH and that has switched their name to THE PETE FLESH DEATHTRIP in 2009 marks its 2013 comeback owing to a newly-released album “Mortui Vivos Docent”, which may be considered a drastic change of style compared to the previous albums.

The Latin album title, as well as its artwork, represents especially an anti-Christ symbol held by monks with corpse painted skulls are specific old school Black Metal elements. This can be deemed a guiding hint to determine which musical genre dominates the musical writing of the album. In fact, the first thing to draw your attention is the deep echoed vocals, “too traditional Black Metal timbered” with potentially hearable lyrics dealing with dark themes such as Suicide, Rape, and most of all Raven (too mainstream for this genre).

Moving to the main interest (music), the part that I acclaim most is incontestably the drum play. For instance on “Fallen Bliss”, different drumming styles are alternating black metal pedal play with a series of open hi-hats, sustained either by Black Metal tremolo fast guitar riffs, or by Thrash / Death chords sometimes backed by a harmonic guitar.

“The Eternal Dawn” is marked by the inclusion of keyboards' notes, along with a deeper guitar contour even though the rhythm riff is too basic consisting of just a succession of fundamental notes in which the instrumentation varies from bar to bar. Only the drumming contributed to enriching the track, although some signature altering was also remarkable. Nevertheless, what disappointed me most was the silly guitar soloing for not proving the least effort, as nothing was exerted there.

The genre mingle is smooth as Pete Flesh managed to blend both Black and Death / Thrash in pure harmony, the thrashy chords along with the high speed tempo in “Crave The Fire” marked the very first intro as well as the bridge till a point that makes you uncertain which genre is taking the lead. The mentioned track presents an up-then-down tempo, even though the guitar riffs aren’t that rich which raises questions whether Pete Flesh really masters the instruments he plays or not, and whether he should have left the bass play for a dedicated player as the bass line was just a copy of the guitar one a thing that accentuated the lack of any traces of technique leaving the space to a dark atmosphere and the introduction of oriental scales for instance in “The God Of The Crawling Whore”.

As I mentioned above, the use of keyboards was part of an attempt to break the pattern even if the song structure wasn’t that basic, but the songs were too similar apart from “The Suicide End” in which the intro keyboards created some kind of a church organ, that rapidly turns into a heroic Celtic / Scottish bagpipe atmosphere, perhaps targeting the video gamers as this kind of music is hugely on demand for epic / medieval game soundtracks. Let me also note the verse guitar arpeggio along with the keyboard solo in “Recycle My Death” which just helped break that same pattern.

The sound quality must be praised; the unique atmosphere and the headbanger riffs shall make this album the enchanting heaven of any dedicated Black Metal fan, without forgetting to mention the Death / Thrash influence which represents a huge plus. However it’s honest to state that it’s technically too poor, for the best music lines are born when both feeling and ability are united.

3 Star Rating

1. Fallen Bliss
2. The Eternal Dawn
3. Crave The Fire
4. The Suicide End
5. Burning Darkness
6. Raven’s Reborn
7. God Of The Crawling Whore
8. Bleed
9. Recycle My Death
Pete Flesh – Vocals / Guitars / Bass
Micke Broberg – Session Vocals
Andreas Jonsson - Session Drums
Peter Bjärgö - Keyboard / Piano
Record Label: Pulverised Records


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