FLOURISHING — The Sum of All Fossils (review)

FLOURISHING — The Sum of All Fossils album cover Album · 2011 · Technical Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
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.
Share this review

Review Comments

Post a public comment below | Send private message to the reviewer
Please login to post a shout
2 months ago
I'm also enjoying the new Artificial Brain album but have not heard any others, will check out soon.
adg211288 wrote:
2 months ago
I'm quite partial to Artificial Brain as far as dissodeath goes. They've recently dropped a new album and it's getting rave reports. I enjoyed it and their last one quite a bit.
2 months ago
Had a glance at your dissonant death list Mike. Plenty I don't know but I"d say the 2022 releases from Aeviterne, Dischordia and Haunter are definitely worth checking out. Aeviterne is like Flourishing 2.0, Dischordia add 70s prog elements and Haunter are considerably blackened.
siLLy puPPy wrote:
2 months ago
These newer dissonant bands are a tough nut to crack for those who like melodic. It's an acquired taste that i've grown fond of myself. I just made a dissonant death metal list on RYM and this band is one it!
adg211288 wrote:
2 months ago
A very different take on this one than mine (as expected). Good review, makes me wonder what's eluding me with it.


Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
Buy this album from our partners
Moving Pictures Hard Rock
Buy this album from our partners
Paranoid Heavy Metal
Buy this album from our partners
Powerslave NWoBHM
Buy this album from our partners
Rising Heavy Metal
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

Time Illusion Metalcore
Buy this album from MMA partners
Constancy Metalcore
Buy this album from MMA partners
Starlight and Ash Progressive Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
Nuk Soo Kow Metalcore
Buy this album from MMA partners
Inheritance Metalcore
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Metal Online Videos

More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions


Latest Metal News


More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us