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Greetings! My name is Matthew, and I love to listen to all types of metal. Since I’m a Christian, most of the bands that I listen to reflect my faith or have positive, uplifting lyrics. The other thing that you should know is that I love to write – in fact, I want to write epic science fiction for a living.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Broken Flesh - "Warbound" Review

Broken Flesh - Warbound
Self-released/Independent
Genre:  Brutal death metal

Links:

Band's Facebook

Lineup:

Jacob Mathes (vocals)
Kevin Tubby (guitar and vocals)
Joshua Mathes (bass and vocals)
Brandon Lopez (drums)



If there is a soundtrack for the Apocalypse, this is it.  Broken Flesh’s album Warbound is a scathing assault, both lyrically and musically.  One can see the rider on the white horse judging the nations and striking down the wicked as the drums roll along underneath and the guttural bellows rent the air.  Warbound is an improvement over Broken Flesh’s past efforts and makes for a sizable sonic steak that you can sink your teeth into.  But beware—this is brutal death metal, no holds barred. 
Warbound beings with “Acrid Stench,” a straight-forward death metal track complete with a bass drop and tempo changes.  The album is chock full of churning, driving guitar riffs and deep, guttural vocals.  A lot of the band members contribute to the screaming at some point, but lead vocalist Jacob Mathes projects his voice like a raging banshee.  There’s a lot of similarity to Impending Doom’s Brook Reeves on their Nailed. Dead. Risen. album. The percussion is outstanding, and no wonder:  Brandon Lopez, formerly of Becoming the Archetype fame, mans the kit.   As the album progresses, some highlights include the Living Sacrifice-esque guitar solo on “Scorned” and the groove-laden ending riff and higher-pitched vocals on the title track “Warbound.”  For those of you looking for breakdowns, you’ll want to check out the song “15:55.”  One of the most enjoyable elements of the record was the bass guitar.  Oftentimes the bass gets buried and I feel that this instrument is underutilized, but Joshua Mathes bucks this trend.  There is a great, almost strident tuning to the bass, which is fitting for this type of music, and on more than one occasion Mathes cranks out a few fills, like in the ending song “Kill Me Now.”


I do have a minor bone to pick with the band, however.  Plainly put, the album is just too short.  There are 8 songs on Warbound and only one of these is over four minutes.  That puts the total playing time at just over 25 minutes.  Of course, every band has artistic license and can make songs any length that they want—but the album barely seems to begin before it ends.  In the future, I’d like to see a few longer songs, or at least an 11-12 track album. 
           Like Broken Flesh, I tried to pursue brevity while writing this review.  The final verdict:  Warbound is one of the best death metal discs that I’ve heard in a while.  If you like your music heavy and unapologetic, then Broken Flesh is the band for you.  I’d imagine that the closest feeling that Broken Flesh evokes is equivalent to throttling a demon while besieging the gates of Hell.  Don’t believe me?  Go listen, and when your ears are bleeding and your mind is rattled, then you’ll know what I mean.

Overall rating:  7.5 out of 10.0 (Excellent)
Musicianship:  8.5 out of 10.0 
Song structure:  7.5 out of 10.0
Album structure:  6.5 out of 10.0

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How did I come up with my rating?  I rate the following categories:  musicianship, song structure, and album structure.  I then take an average of these three scores and come up with an overall rating.

1.0-2.9 (Poor:  musicianship is poor, song structures are haphazard, no directional flow)
3.0-4.9 (Good:  musicianship is sloppy, song structures are undeveloped, flow is hampered)
5.0-6.9 (Average:  musicianship is adequate, song structures are good, flow works most of the time)
7.0-8.9 (Excellent:  musicianship is very good, song structures are thought out, songs connect well)
9.0-9.9 (Superior:  musicianship is superb, song structures are varied, flow is almost flawless)

Note:  Ratings may be given in increments of 0.1 for a final score (rounded up) and 0.5 for individual category scores.  I will never give a rating of 10.0 because I do not believe that any one album can be "perfect," and the ratings at either end of the spectrum will be very few.

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