Hey there, tech fiends. It's that time of the week again. Before we dive into today's focus, here's the usual weekly reminder that if you're looking for even more sick bands to hear, all prior editions of this series can be perused here.
This Friday, December 11th, Unique Leader Records will drop what seems likely to be the final Deeds of Flesh album, Nucleus. Although I largely shy away from reviewing efforts from the biggest bands or those who will get solid publicity, I had to make an exception for Nucleus.
When it comes to the evolution of brutal death metal and technical brutal death metal, Deeds of Flesh is one of the most important bands out there whose outsized influence continues into the present. Once you add in the additional influence brought to bear by Erik Lindmark's legacy tied to Unique Leader and championing many of the best acts in tech-death, you wind up with something that is special and close to the heart on a few levels for people who love this sort of music as much as I do.
Any influential group with a longstanding legacy will have a fanbase that splinters along certain eras as far as what is the best. However, for Deeds of Flesh, the general consensus is the project kept evolving over time and the most recent few really showed that the project was keeping up with the times. Prior to the impending release of Nucleus, 2013's Portals to Canaan in particular really blew me the fuck away and that's a sentiment many others share with me. It saw the group furthering their sound in an ever more technical and complex direction, never competing with the legions of acts they inspired, but merely advancing what Deeds of Flesh did so well in a way that felt fresh and current.
Here at the end of 2020, we finally get the long-awaited follow up to Portals to Canaan and I'm incredibly excited to share it's every bit as good as that album. Having had the honor of premiering "Ethereal Ancestor" here at the site after a prior single had dropped, it seemed clear based on those two songs that this album would be amazing. I'd arguably say it's even stronger and that's a statement made separate from the jaw-dropping number of sick guest spots which includes Bill Robinson (Deeds of Flesh), Obie Flett (Pathology), Anthony Trapani (Odious Mortem/Severed Savior), Luc Lemay (Gorguts), Corpsegrinder (Cannibal Corpse), John Gallagher (Dying Fetus), Matti Way (ex-Pathology, etc.), Frank Mullen (Suffocation), Matt Sotelo (Decrepit Birth), and a few more as well! Given that Deeds of Flesh had never utilized many guest spots prior, it's clear this massive swarm of the best in death metal pitched in due to their love for Deeds, Unique Leader, and Erik Lindmark.
In general, my feeling is that tech-death is best heard over being overly described in detail. That's my way of saying every musician on here brings an incredible performance and the songwriting on each and every of the album's nine cuts are some of the group's best work ever. Holding to a longstanding tradition of dropping records around 40 minutes in length or less, Nucleus tops out at just over the 40-minute mark, never exhausting your attention, and leaving no room for pointless filler. If this is indeed the swansong effort from Deeds of Flesh, Nucleus is one hell of a way to go out.
*I'm not sure if a full early stream will go live ahead of Friday so I've embedded the three available singles below instead. North America pre-orders available here, Europe pre-orders here, and digitally here.