Technical Death Metal • United States
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Flourishing was a progressive death-grind / death metal band from New York, originally formed in 2003.

The band went through several line-up changes before solidifying as a trio consisting of guitarist/vocalist Garett Bussanick, bassist Eric Rizk, and drummer Brian Corcoran.

Flourishing released two EPs and one full-length LP between 2010-2012. The band called it a day in 2014.
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FLOURISHING albums / top albums

FLOURISHING The Sum of All Fossils album cover 3.81 | 5 ratings
The Sum of All Fossils
Technical Death Metal 2011


FLOURISHING A Momentary Sense of the Immediate World album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
A Momentary Sense of the Immediate World
Technical Death Metal 2010
FLOURISHING Intersubjectivity album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Technical Death Metal 2012

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FLOURISHING The Sum of All Fossils

Album · 2011 · Technical Death Metal
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Metal Music Archives Reviewer's Challenge: June 2022

New York’s Flourishing are a new band to me and having released this, The Sum Of All Fossils, their one and only album back in 2011 it’s easy to see how they passed me by. Still, better late than never and I’m always intrigued by death metal bands that go down the dissonant road. It’s a branch of death metal that is difficult to do well as it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of producing a cacophonous mess. Bands like Immolation and Gorguts have been doing it so well for so long I find myself constantly referencing them when listening to like-minded bands. Okay, the former may not be as extreme as some but to my ears they have perfected it, with the right balance between discord and crushing compelling riffs.

The Sum Of All Fossils like most of its ilk won’t reveal itself immediately. This sort of stuff requires time and patience as by its nature you have to dig deeper to find the rewards. You don’t always get them of course but fortunately it’s worth spending some time with Flourishing. I could list far better examples of technical death metal on the dissonant side of things but these guys are no slouches. A pre-requisite is strong musicianship which this trio clearly have, to be able to follow all the twists and turns that they throw at you. Most importantly though it still needs great riffs to back it all up. This is where they lose a few marks as whilst you’ll find them at times I’m not convinced by them and not drawn in. They do introduce lighter moments which are welcome though don’t always work like on Momentary Senses but serve their purpose by making the heavier parts even more crushing. When they get it right though, which they do frequently, it’s really very good like on Summary. At just over four minutes it’s the shortest song on the album and cuts out any unnecessary flab.

The production is decent too though I would have preferred the drums a bit heavier as they are a bit on the thin side, but each instrument is clearly heard in the mix as are the vocals which whilst being unexceptional do the job.

Overall then I quite enjoyed The Sum Of All Fossils and it’s a shame they didn’t follow it up with album number 2 (they split up in 2014) as I’m sure they could have developed their songwriting skills considerably. They did however follow it up with an EP which showed promise. Still it’s a decent if small legacy.

FLOURISHING The Sum of All Fossils

Album · 2011 · Technical Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Metal Music Archives Reviewer's Challenge: June 2022

Technical death metal is a genre I have a bit of a mixed relationship with. I find the more ultra technical side of the genre can sometimes be tough for me to get into, with the music often getting so lost in technical precision that it's hard to find anything to grab onto. However, there are some bands in the genre who offer up a good mix of heaviness, technicality and melodic death metal to help make things easy to get into. Then there's a band like the now defunct American band Flourishing, who offer up their own unique take on the genre for their debut (and sole full length release) The Sum of All Fossils, throwing in a mix of sludge and post-hardcore elements to go along with the main tech death sound. But while the album may have a distinct sound, the most important thing is whether or not that results in an enjoyable album. Well.......

I've had a somewhat mixed experience with The Sum of All Fossils, to say the least. Initially, it took me a few minutes to adjust to the rather raw sound, since I tend to be more inclined to genres with cleaner production, so my first experience of the album wasn't too great. Once I adjusted to it, though, I found myself hooked in, and started enjoying the music. However, by the end of my first listen I found myself a bit confused, as while parts of the album instantly impressed me, there were other parts that seemed to go in one ear and out the other. Several listens later, and unfortunately not a whole lot has changed.

Lets get to the basics, first. In terms of style, Flourishing play a rather interesting brand of tech death, with a very aggressive sound, utilizing frantic drums and down-tuned guitars (the tone reminds a bit of Fear Factory on occasion), and they like to throw in a lot of different sound effects, including some high pitched screeching noises, as well as what appear to be some audio samples every once in a while. The guitar work can get very intense at times, but there are also quite a few more atmospheric passages, and these are the parts I tend to grab onto the most, as they stand out a bit more. That being said, it is a fairly heavy and intense album throughout, often staying at a fairly moderate pace, and there are several extended sections of repeated riffs, along the lines of Gojira, though it also speeds up occasion, and those sections also help offer up a bit of variety.

I mentioned the production earlier, and I must say, despite my initial impressions on it being negative, after more experience with the album I think the sound quality is actually very good and fits the album perfectly, giving the music a raw sound, while still allowing room for everything to be heard. This certainly isn't one of those underground sounding black metal albums where you can't hear a lick of guitar, thankfully. Vocally, Garett Bussanick does a solid job, delivering the kind of deep, aggressive death growls fans of the genre would expect. There are also some rather weird clean vocal at times, such as some sorta rap sounding vocals on “The Prospects of Rejection”, and some very strange sounding screams on “By Which We're Cemented”, and while these are interesting, they aren't really used often enough to leave much of an impression.

In terms of sound, while this album may not be my usual style, I do think everything is performed very well, and the sound quality is quite good. Where I find the album suffers a bit, however, is in the songwriting. Honestly, trying to break this album down song by song is very difficult. I find while most tracks have memorable moments, such as methodical marching drums at the end of “By Which We're Cemented” (an overall more atmospheric track than most), the aforementioned sections with weird vocals, an intense tempo change near the beginning of opening track “A Thimble's Worth”, and some intense riffs and weird sound effects on closer “As If Bathed in Excellence”, it's hard to really point out a single track as being memorable in full. I do think “By Which We're Cemented” is probably my favorite here, with its slower paced, more sludge metal sound, while the second half of the album on the whole is fairly forgettable aside from a fairly solid closing track. Otherwise, it's hard to really say much about any of the tracks, as they all tend to blend together. Sometimes, that can work fine, such as on both full length albums by one man black metal band Aquilus, where everything feels like a cohesive whole and I'm constantly engaged the whole way through, but sadly this is an album where aside from a few memorable points throughout, I'm rarely all that engaged by the music, and it often passes me by largely unnoticed.

In the end, The Sum of All Fossils is a tough album to judge, because I think it is a very well made album, by a band who clearly has talent, and it's clear there's an audience for it, but on a personal level I find well over half of it simply goes in one ear and out the other. It's an enjoyable listen, but at the end of the day, I'm remembering very little of it even immediately after listening to it. The band has since split up, though Bussanick and bassist Eric Rizk have since gone on to form a new band called Aeviterne. Even after giving their full length debut, The Ailing Facade a single listen, it's clear their music is both more refined in terms of overall performance quality, and much more memorable when it comes to the songwriting. So, while this album in particular didn't leave me overly impressed, it did lead to me discovering a potentially great band with a very promising future.

FLOURISHING The Sum of All Fossils

Album · 2011 · Technical Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Vim Fuego
Metal Music Archives Reviewer's Challenge: June 2022

Death metal got disconnected somewhere along the line.

When the genre first spawned from bands who found thrash metal wasn’t extreme enough for them, the focus was mainly on big riffs and brutality. Like thrash before it, there was a certain melodic groove to it, albeit buried under layers of monstrous guitars, thunderous drums, and bestial vocals.

Fast forward to the 21st century and for some strange reason, new death metal bands don’t seem to have anywhere near the same focus on musicality. Instead, it seems technical prowess, off-the-wall time signatures and arrangements, and headache-inducing discordance are the flavour of the time instead. The old bands realised death metal is still music, while the newer ones don’t.

A bit of dissonance and discordance, and brutal technicality can be great to listen to, but such things need to allow room for the underlying music to breathe, otherwise you may as well listen to Merzbow demolish buildings with decorated amplified white noise. Enter Flourishing, who connected things back up again.

“The Sum of All Fossils” has the groove and expressiveness so beloved by death metal’s founders, while incorporating the brutal technicality and clashing disharmonia so ever-present in today’s death metal. This is undoubtedly a death metal album, but thrown in are elements of Neurosis-like post-apocalyptic guitar scrapes, Skin Chamber’s industro-death blown throat dual vocals, and some big sludgy chunks of Crowbar. Imagine a harder edged Gojira partnered with pre-prog Pestilence, and Disharmonic Orchestra overseeing it all with bleak surrealistic cyberpunk lyrics.

There’s nothing as conventional as intro/verse/chorus/verse/chorus/outro songwriting here. The music, like the lyrics, seems to be stream of consciousness, but at the same time seems precise and rehearsed rather than loose and improvised. While the music is compelling and hard to break from, the lyricism seems dense and impenetrable. Observe “Fossil Record”: “Rates increase all the time and embrace all of these thoughts. So lost. Photographs fade in every era. Left with their solitude. Reasoning dulls. Voids become deep. Alarm. They plant seeds of high purpose. Mortals drone on.” It’s a bleak but powerful vision of… what? It seems left to the listener’s interpretation.

This is an album-sized exercise in brutality and beauty to be consumed in it’s entirety, rather than trying to pluck song from song, as it is a singular vision viewed in eight parts rather than a collection of eight songs squeezed together and called an album. “The Sum of All Fossils” fills a missing link between two divergent, distantly related metal sub-genre which share a common ancestor, but long ago branched in different directions.

FLOURISHING The Sum of All Fossils

Album · 2011 · Technical Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Metal Music Archives Reviewer's Challenge: June 2022

“The Sum of all Fossils” is the debut and so far, the only full-length release by New York based technical death metal outfit Flourishing. Originally involved with death-grind, the music on this album abandons grind and focuses mainly on death metal with high levels of dissonance and atonality, played in a breakneck, frenetic fashion accompanied by powerful growling vocals. Upon first listen, it might be easy to write Flourishing off as another outlet for Gorgutsish disso-death worship but with repeated listens, it’s clear there is much more on offer here – the influence of genres such as sludge metal and industrial metal become obvious in addition to the occasional pockets of hardcore/post-hardcore.

The production is perfect for the music – organic sounding, with just the right amount of filth and murkiness for death metal while giving off a distinctly cold sensation to the listener – this is amplified by a cloak of cold industrial atmosphere which envelops the whole affair somewhat but is more prevalent on some tracks such as “In Vivid Monochrome” and “By Which We’re Cemented”, the latter of which is one the most diverse tracks on the album, showcasing vocalist Bussanick’s ability to switch from his usual guttural grunting to a strangled, open-throated, post-hardcore shout.

The occasional use of melodic guitar work provides the album with some well-placed variation to the surrounding onslaught. Songs like the aforementioned “By Which We’re Cemented” and “Momentary Senses” use melody effectively to add an element of light to the dark, bleak backdrop of despair which makes up the album’s bulk. The former has some great guitar harmonics in addition to some major key celestial riffs that wouldn’t sound out of place on a 00s sludge album and juxtaposes delightfully with the brutality, adding a small sense of hope in comparison to the overall sense of foreboding. It's clear that “The Sum of all Fossils” demonstrates an adventurous approach to songwriting with unconventional song structures and an ability to successfully combine many influences into one coherent piece.

My favourite aspect of the album is the emotion that oozes from every pore. This reaches its peak on the epic closer “As if Bathed in Excellence” which is almost like a mini version of the album in itself with its technical and brutal first half, the sludgy breakdown and the superb melodic outro which ascends the listener back into the realms of light to bring the album to a conclusion.

Sadly, Flourishing is no more but two members are currently part of the blackened death metal outfit Aeviterne who’s debut album “The Ailing Façade” was released earlier this year. It has a similar sound but with a greater focus on atmosphere, a more grandiose production job and seems to have picked up where Flourishing left off back in 2011. It was only after listening to Aeviterne that I discovered Flourishing and if you are looking for dissonant tech death with a difference, Flourishing and their new re-incarnation have both firmly nailed it.

FLOURISHING The Sum of All Fossils

Album · 2011 · Technical Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Metal Music Archives Reviewer's Challenge: June 2022

The Sum of All Fossils is the 2011 debut album of US dissonant death metal act Flourishing. At the time of writing this review in 2022 it remains their sole studio album due to the band's disbandment in 2014. Two of the trio remain active in the death metal scene though with a new act, Aeviterne, who dropped their first album in 2022.

Flourishing was a band sometimes associated with grindcore but on their sole full-length album The Sum of All Fossils plays firmly within the death metal camp. Theirs is a dissonant take on the genre that seems to also owe something to the realms of sludge metal and hardcore. A description of post-death metal wouldn't be worlds away either, but the name of the game is primarily atonality to produce a sound that comes off as cacophonous and chaotic.

As an album, it's not an unrewarding experience. At least, it never offers up anything that makes me think these guys don't have the chops. My trouble with it is that upon conclusion, after eight tracks and about forty-four minutes of music, I'm left with a feeling that everything I just heard just all blurs together to the point that it's an easy album to just zone out to, rather than pay attention to its details and intricacies. They are there, but it takes real effort to notice them and The Sum of All Fossils is not an album that seems to especially encourage it – or ultimately reward it. This is not a perception that has been at all helped by repeated listens to the record. Suddenly it's just done. And I feel like I blinked and missed it every single time.

Flourishing has a good sound, I'll give them that much. It's raw and dirty and will appeal to death metal fans looking to escape modern over-polished production jobs that make records sound too crisp, clean and clinical. I'll at least remember how the album sounds when I think of it. But the parts that make up its sum kind of just get lost in it all, like there's no method to the band's madness. You could play me any song from the album and even after several listens I don't feel I would stand a chance at identifying it from any other being served up here. That is not necessarily a problem in itself with extreme metal, or any genre of music for that matter, being an album's album so to speak, but here, I just don't feel we get to hear Flourishing at their full potential. And since they've now split up, I find it doubtful that we ever will. It might be worth giving Aeviterne a shot though, to hear what two of three band members are up to these days.

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