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Of Feather and Bone have glorified their crust/grind/hardcore love in the past and make no effort to move beyond it here.


Album Review: OF FEATHER AND BONE Embrace the Wretched Flesh

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You know, I think I get the title of the band: songs fly by like a bird going in for the kill and are stripped down to the bone. Maybe I'm over-thinking that a bit. Maybe not. However, the metaphor would be apt when it comes to the lacerating energy Of Feather and Bone carries. It's a short beast but it swoops in with a frothing fury and is, well, rather peckish. Right down to the goddamn bone.

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Of Feather and Bone are finally putting out a full length is at least something that's come sooner rather than later. Though the Denver, CO band isn't old by any stretch, I had these ACxDC fears lodged in the back of my mind. Maybe that's just me getting old…er. And good thing that wasn't the case. Of Feather and Bone's grindy/crusty/hardcore approach has always been on the short side with only three EPs (I assume they're EPs despite not being labeled as such) to their name (one of which is a split with Reproacher). Though the band hasn't been a turn over machine when it comes to material

Embrace the Wretched Flesh, one call tell by song titles alone, is an album that doesn't do mercy; it's not on the agenda. Throughout the ten tracks the songs proclaim hatred, suffering, isolation and damnation. And after a short burst of feed back and the almost complete lack of introduction it's easy to see why. There are no kind words to introduce any of this. No leading listeners into a safe room and letting the thing blow over. Of Feather and Bone simply get down to the killing.

Of Feather and Bone have glorified their crust/grind/hardcore love in the past and make no effort to move beyond it here. The band keep themselves tightly knit around a hardcore/punk structure, though they allow themselves to fluctuate between the heavy stuff and the old school. The first three tracks feature heavy breakdowns that the 90s scene would have definitely given a nod to. The beatdown sensibility is ever present, but weirdly never feels like the focal point despite its persistence. Hell, “Confined Violence” and “Ignore Their Remorse” flow into one another through a breakdown (and the later is even mostly comprised out of said breakdown).

It's the speed and melody that makes Of Feather and Bone shine. When the band gets blast-y shit really gets going. When the band is melodic, they sound mournful. Maybe it's self-inflicted. Maybe they're inflicting. But no matter the direction they can deliver the damage. Tracks like the extremely punk-y “The Proclamation of Hatred” take a cue from the 80s but remain modern with a moody metallic/melodic section. “Deafing Call” (I'm assuming my copy has a misspelling and it's actually “Deafening Call”) on the other hand is the most grindcore the album gets, but keeps itself on that hardcore/punk path.

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Of Feather and Bone cram a lot of breakdowns, a lot of hardcore/punk sensibilities and a lot of crusty/grind goodness into a meager twenty-three minutes. Embrace the Wretched Flesh goes by in a flash too. It's tough as nails and full of hate. Songs are on the large built out of the same elements, generally featuring one domineering over the other two. It is definitely one of the reasons the album has so much punch, but also one of the reasons it's easy to confuse songs. Still, Embrace the Wretched Flesh is a bone breaker that pays its dues to the genres the Of Feather and Bone loves so much.

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