(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
Fleshpress (2002), 6.5/10
Worm Dirges (2004), 7/10 (mini)
III (2005), 6/10
Pillars (2007), 7/10
No Return (2010) , 6/10 (EP)
Rebuild/ Crumble (2010), 6/10 (EP)
Acid Mouth Strangulation (2011), 6/10 (mini)
Tearing Skyholes (2013), 5/10

Finland's Fleshpress debuted with the super-slow doom-metal of Fleshpress (Shifty, 2002), that ranks among the most obsessive works of that sub-subgenre. The 13-minute ...All Things Broken is as monolithic (and orthodox) as it gets until it plunges into a swamp of atonal drones, like leftovers from a Jimi Hendrix glissando. When it recovers, it is even more depressed and anemic, and the beastly vocals do not help cheer up the mood. Rise Of The Superior is barely more articulate, but fundamentally another monument of booming bass riffs and sterile drumming.

Then they evolved towards a more articulate sound with the 22-minute Asphalt, that tiptoes where the music used to stomp and then shrinks down to a barely audible hiss, on the mini-album Worm Dirges (Kult Ov Nihilow, 2004), while the shorter, manic Vortex sounds like a leftover from the first album.

III (Kult Of Nihilow, 2005) marked a quantum jump in quality. The eleven-minute All Hope Lost harks back to art-rock both in terms of sparkling production and in the way that rhythm plays a much stronger role in shaping the pathos of the piece, even stopping altogether when the guitars lull it to its death. Reborn also marks a significant change, both because the (growling) voice is more present than ever and because the riff is the most melodic of their career (a little faster and it could be a pop song).

If that was a bit too polished Pillars (Kult Of Nihilow, 2007) used the newly found musical maturity to create more complex scores, whose trance is often derailed by sudden epileptic fits bordering on grindcore. The eleven-minute I Am Your Sacrifice is a macabre and martial procession until a sudden acceleration, somewhat reminiscent of the plot of Led Zeppelin's How Many More Times. Until half point Grave Within is the epitome of monotony, and then it even seems to stop when it is in fact picking up energy to unleash a wall of riffs. There is a strong sense of cinematic suspense at work in the 20-minute Disciples Of Nothingness, from the horrific explosion and circular riff of the opening seconds through the painful dialogue of suspended riffs and intermittent screams that lasts forever, ending with a metaphysical sequence of massive footsteps while the guitar vibrates hysterical like a terrified victim. The 22-minute Omega Monolith might mark their emotional zenith: a melody wrapped in a ceremonial/tribal atmosphere comes to a zombie-like paralysis, then suddenly the band erupts a ripping rock'n'roll instrumental that Deep Purple can only envy. Adding to the unnerving atmosphere, Pillars is an abstract soundscape of subliminal drones and sporadic guitar tones, and Ave Nihil is a sinister rumble that seems to evoke the decomposing of a corpse inside a coffin.

The progression towards a more extroverted dynamics was confirmed by two EPs: No Return (2010), that even delights with a sort of blues-rock jam in the middle of Spiral Filter Forcing You Down To Black Pyramid before a thundering coda, and Rebuild/ Crumble (2010), whose sleepwalking Crumble takes forever to rise anthemic from its own ruins.

The mini-album Acid Mouth Strangulation (Svart, 2011) contains the eleven-minute Glass Trails, that for the most part sounds like a languid acid-rock shuffle, and the 19-minute Oblivion Persistent, a more theatrical and convoluted trance in the vein of Pillars.

Tearing Skyholes (Kult Of Nihilow, 2013) contains the twelve-minute Coming Of Gaze and the 14-minute Each Eye Holes The Sky.

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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