After helping to put death metal on the map for three decades now, you know what to expect from Deeds Of Flesh. However, there’s a sense of a new beginning for the Californian outfit, albeit in tragic circumstances. Original frontman Erik Lindmark passed away in 2018 after a battle with sclerosis, meaning Jacoby Kingston has re-joined the fold as vocalist.
On top of this, we have a multitude of guest vocalists on hand for the ninth Deeds Of Flesh full-length, ‘Nucleus’, which also happens to be the first album that they’ve put out since 2013’s ‘Portals To Canaan’. If you love good old fashioned nasty death metal, this will undoubtedly put a smile on your face.
And the band have carried on in exactly the way that Lindmark would have wanted them to. After the slightly ominous and apocalyptic-sounding opening intro, it’s not long before we’re greeted with the glorious cacophony of riffs when ‘Odyssey’ comes in at full-throttle with pummelling drums and discordant guitar lines, and they also sweep gloriously.
The low-end frequencies are utilised greatly for ‘Alyen Scourge’, and the riffs reach their most hard-hitting as well as the technical ability being off-the-scale, but not to the detriment of the song. Plus, for good measure, we have a string-assisted cinematic break near the end of the song.
‘Ascension Vortex’, again, keeps up the momentum all the way through, and Darren Cesca‘s unrelenting performance behind the drum kit shouldn’t go unnoticed. Generally, it not only delivers punishing death metal as it should be done, but there’s a clear fun factor behind this too.
‘Eternal Ancestors’ ups the ante with some ferocious and depraved vocal performances, and not just from Jacoby Kingston who does a stellar job; George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fisher (Cannibal Corpse) brings a stand-out vocal performance to the table. Further hard-hitting riffs come in for the title-track with some more masterfully gurgled vocals to boot from Dying Fetus‘ own John Gallagher.
In a genre where it’s hard to hear the bass frequencies sometimes, it’s all the more pleasing that the bass playing of Ivan Munguia comes to the fore for ‘Races Conjoined’. ‘Terror’ has a great lift during with the intensity going up to 11, with the last track proper ending on a real high note. ‘Onward’ is a sombre, cinematic piece led by a trumpet that feels like a poignant ending, summing up an album that largely does what it says on the tin, but can still conjure up surprises every now and then.
With this containing some music that Erik Lindmark wrote before his passing, ‘Nucleus’ is not only a glorious return for Deeds Of Flesh, but a more-than-fitting tribute to their founding frontman.