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Album Review: Defleshed – Grind Over Matter

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Review by Sheri Bicheno for MPM

After a near on 17 year slumber, Swedish Death and Grind Metal Leviathan, Defleshed, have awakened with a vengeance. 

Formed in 1991 and emulsifying many blends of thrash, death and grind, Defleshed made their mark as one of the most paramount bands in the 90’s and early 2000’s within the aforementioned genre’s…

And those following have not forgotten.

Originally planning to create a few songs for a box set vinyl, vocalist & bassist Gustaf Jorde tells us that unifying Defleshed again in 2021,  the process of recording again was so satisfying, that they just kept going. Low and behold, with the core original line up of guitarist Lars Löfven, drummer Matte Modin and Gustaf, 6th full length album Grind Over Matter (released via Metal Blade) was cast together.

Bent Out of Shape introduces the album and doesn’t mess about. Straight into face blasting drumming and frantic riffing, we’re introduced to a furious, gritty track that twists and turns with elements of blackened thrash bass and the rasping death metal vocals that echo through this song pretty consistently. Leading towards the end of the track, however, is a wonderful lead up where Matte absolutely powers those blast beats and we’re thrown into a catchy yet BRUTAL thundering twist of tempo. 

Album Titled track Grind Over Matter is another warping track as much as its lyrics depict, the feel here isn’t just pure ferocity, there’s a sense of atmospheric traces particularly through the vocal tones on this song. Much can be said the same as One Grave To Fit Them All.

Though the bass notes also from Gustaf here are heavy, low and granite like, which, I feel, provide the tempo turns rather than the outset of blasting cymbals and pedals from Matte. 

The intro to Heavy Haul is just bloody wonderful. Gustaf exhibits another level of his vocals with his ability to blend some top notch screeching into again, atmospheric wailing that sets the tone with the Lars’s inferno of riffing. Only a few minutes long, this track is pure brutality and runs at the speed of lightning. There are also vocals underlying this from another Swedish Thrash band, F.K.Ü. If fast and heavy is what you’re after, this is one of the faster tracks to listen out for.

Dear Devil is without a shadow of a doubt, one of my favourite tracks on Grind Over Matter – the intro gives us a little different direction to start off with, with a chuggy-ish melody from Lars and a double wham of riffing over the top, there’s that atmospheric that i love so much in my metal – before twisting into Matte’s outstanding blast beating and the most bloodcurdling growl erupting from Gustaf. This track talks to us of a letter from a narcissist to the Underworld demanding a list of wishes be granted and is arrogant enough to think that the letter and its demands will be honoured. 

This track melts together in a perfect balance of blackened elements of thrash and grind before we’re kicked into touch by Staring Bllind. 

Staring Blind exhibits again, a different angle to the ferocity of Grind Over Matter – this, I feel, is a lot more of a Death Metal listen – The chugging riffs melts into a savage bullet of consistent blasts and an undertone of melody and tempo changing thundering through the track.

Watch ‘Heavy Haul’ here:

Enter… an eeriness to the next offering of ghostly moans of synths melting into the question on this album “What do I care for losses and casualties?” 

I think it should be known that this glimmer of dark beauty to Blood Well Spent was created by none other than Scott Fairfax (Memoriam, As The World Dies, HDrive Project) – and he sets the tone to this absolute tornado of a track before it pummels into a torrential rainfall of lethal and dirty blast beats and riffs. 

Gustaf’s vocals start off as a sonic howl and then Lars’s chugging riffs take over. Additionally, this is another track that I feel that Gustaf’s equally chugging and grinding bass sets the backbone throughout. 

I really feel that Unburdened by Genius really displays the skill of Matte throughout. The drumming is first class. It’s another track that is only a few moments long though the velocity and almost inhuman blasting and twists that comes from him is astonishing.

Behind Dead Eyes is another favourite of mine. This is a mash up more of a catchy melodic riffing and vocals throughout the track and I think it exhibits the more Death Metal side of Defleshed – the drumming is less of a speed bullet, although not to be under-estimated, there is still speed and power behind those blasts but definitely a change of melody and pace to give the song the resulting force it seeks. 

It’s beautiful – in a warped… brutal… MURDEROUS kind of way. 

Gustaf’s vocals are raw but this time, the flow of his range matches that of the melody of blasts and riffing. It fits perfectly and delivers ambience to go hand in hand with the speed and pace of this track.

Blastbeast is another pure inferno of speed and and displays why in heck Matte is one of the most underrated drummers today. He is a machine. An absolute machine. Just turn this track up and listen to that assault your ears for a moment. 

You just can’t deny the skill. The speed throughout this album has been outstanding and it doesn’t stop until we get to the finale of the the album – Last Nail In The Coffin.

This shows the same velocity of speed though, until we get to a few breaks of change in tempo to twist that notch around again. The bass is again, super clear and chuggy here, the riffs emanate frantic energy. The track rounds off with the sound of hammering into wood… which creates a macabre vision to end Grind Over Matter.

Fans of Defleshed that have been desiring a reunion should now be more than happy with their fix… Grind Over Matter has a more diverse vibe than that of previous releases and showcases these guys ability to remain as eminent in Death/Grind Metal as they are illustrious.

Welcome back, lads!

Defleshed are:

Gustaf Jorde – vocals/bass

Lars Löfven – guitars

Matte Modin – drums

Buy here: http://www.metalblade.com/defleshed

Follow Defleshed:

https://www.facebook.com/defleshedoff…

https://www.instagram.com/defleshed_o…

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