31 Jan 2021 - Thorsten
Death metal with a very very strong infusion of hardcore and crust makes for a very tasty meal on this debut album by Belgian band Work of the Flesh.
After they quit Belgian metal-legend Bütcher, Jolle and Beuk wanted to form a new band to engage in and thus formed Works of the Flesh, where they were joined by Tim (from Izah and Musth), Stevie (from Suhrim and Marginal) and Niels (Black Swarm). So in some ways, this is a Belgian metal super-group that is together since 2019.
Their debut 12” (with an etching on the B-Side) will be released this spring after the album has been digitally released in November. The tracks had been recorded in 2020 in between lockdown periods in Brussels’ Trix studios by Frank Rotthier. And he has done an amazing job, keeping the reigns tight on this high-energy mustang that still clocks in after eight songs and merely 19 minutes! No track breaks the three-minute-barrier and indirectly that says a lot about the record.
The guys definitely do not hold back with anything. You are searching for some breath? Take it before listening to this record. The listener is pushed hard, punched thoroughly and thrown around with ultimate force. However, one has to admit that there could be no other choice musically when you look at the subjects of the songs which range from consumerism, religion and social hypocrisy to the uncontrollable dominance of social media, fascism and the constant feeling of not being good enough. They criticize the usage of the media in fascist regimes trying to induce so much fear and hatred in the oppressed that those finally give in and attack other groups, and if something has been shown in ‘Classes for Fascists 101’ then this idea. The idea of society having lost control is shown throughout the eight tracks and in the last song (“Go Feed The Maggos”) the “zombies” attack and only a few “human remains in a pit of swarming worms”, nothing more than “worthless human life”. And basically, following the harsh reality spat at us by Tim, one has to admit that there is some truth in all of that. Society has thrown away our purpose and has given in to gods they can’t control, which by now have turned us into zombies without real human interaction in the non-digital world.
Musically, one has to assess that these eight tracks are perfect the way they are – rough, unforgiving, raw, direct and hard. Interesting is the hardcore-like bass of Jolle used in a lot of songs, which show a real love for simple 80s and 90s hardcore with a message (I would guess that is due to Tim’s love for Belgian hardcore and bands like Earth Crisis). The rhythm section is trying to outperform each other in terms of speed and power. Stevie and Jolle are doing a great job to give the tracks a fuming bed of speed attacks and then add double-speed attacks to fuel the real mosh-pits. At the same time, Niels and Beuk are doing their best to show the other the fastest, angriest, most shredding, fear-inducing riffs to come out of Belgium for a long time.
This record is as much Swedish Death as it is H8000 hardcore and if you are really angry at the current state of the world and want to find some musical outlet – pick up this record, spit out the lyrics, mosh to the riffs, throw your fists in the air and cleanse yourself of all the hatred for this place and what society is allowing to be done to it!