FLESHPRESS — Pillars (review)

FLESHPRESS — Pillars album cover Album · 2007 · Sludge Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
Fleshpress, along with Dirge from France and Ocean Chief from Sweden, are one of the most criminally underrated metal bands I have ever heard. Their fourth album, "Pillars" was released in 2007.

Fleshpress are a truly remarkable band. The Finnish group (who also feature Mikko Aspa on drums, but don't get too excited, DSO fans - this band is far different), despite being very obscure, have pumped out various black metal influenced sludge metal albums in the past. While the band have often been called black metal, it's only in the vocals, which are a violent high-pitched shriek. While the first three Fleshpress albums were straight up sludge, their fourth album, and their magnum opus in my opinion, "Pillars" is where the band really shows off their black metal influence. It's a superb album, and is up their with my favorite albums of 2007, if not the. "Pillars" is also a lot longer than Fleshpress' other three albums, which never breached the 40 minute mark - "Pillars" takes up almost all of the CD time, at 77 minutes.

As soon as the first song, "I Am Your Sacrifice" kicks off, you know the band is taking a different direction. A sampled noise which sounds akin to chains being dragged around a dungeon floor kicks in, followed by a desolate, solitary guitar sound. This "riff" focuses more on discord than actual melody - fans of Khanate will definitely like this part. The riff echoes on for a few agonizing minutes, before the entire band comes crashing in making the experience even more dreadful - the band grinds away at a gruelingly slow pace, with an exceptionally sinister riff and guitar feedback digging themselves into the listener's brain like maggots devouring the corpse of a dead animal. Marko, the vocalist, then makes his first mark (no pun intended) with his signature black metal shrieks. "Fall down, like a whore with need to hurt" stresses Marko on the first line. Which brings me to another point - the vocals and lyrics on this album are very minimal. The band only writes a few lines per each song, but at the same time, the vocals are used enough to keep the music from getting stale.

The band continues "I Am Your Sacrifice" at the same gruelingly slow pace, when suddenly, everything heavy stops, and gives way to a sea of feedback and discordance. Suddenly, your skull is crushed when the band plows back in, with a super sped up version of the sinister riff - this part would not be out of place on an Eyehategod album. The track ends rather abruptly, fading into the second track. My favorite Fleshpress song? Maybe not, but up there with "Trust No One - Coming Home" and "Asphalt".

The listener should already be completely exhausted by the absolute slab of brutality that was the first song, so it's hard to imagine what the rest of the album is like. The title track is an interesting 6 minute noise track to say the least, with no real music, but it doesn't have any real value - the same goes for the closing track "Ave Nihil" which is more or less 10 minutes of noise.

"Disciples Of Nothingness" is the next track on the album where the band actually plays. This track really shows their black metal influence. It gets to the point rather quickly, with some Darkthrone-esque evil laughing followed by a sinister, blazing fast tremolo riff. The song continues this black metal fest for about three minutes, before collapsing into a gigantically massive sludge riff which crawls along at a snail's pace, abandoning the vocals for a good few minutes and instead of sounding "grim" like the first few minutes now focuses on sounding like the band's intention is to split the planet clean in half.

"Omega Monolith" is by far the most atmospheric track on the album. It's very uneventful, but it's not bad at all. The vocals are very minimal in this 23 minute track. It doesn't have any massive sludge build ups, and is not very rewarding, but it's still a pretty great track nonetheless.

"Grave Within" is another one of my favorites. It's terrifyingly atmospheric with a massive organ/guitar buildup at about 5:51 which then explodes into a powerful sludgy groove. "Ave Nihil" is just noise, so I can't really expand on that one.

Fleshpress are definitely one of the more unique bands out today. This album is incredibly dark and disturbing and is one of my top albums of '2007. Doom on.
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