The allusions to Morbid Angel's latest album might not seem that apparent at first, but the comparison to Morbid Angel as a whole should be like getting hit in the face with a brick thrown by the Hulk. There's plenty of winding, twisting solos, dark riffs, and pounding double bass on In The Flesh - basically everything you've come to expect from Morbid Angel, performed by Nader Sadek.
The first thing that really hit me about this album besides that obvious comparison was the dry, mechanical-sounding drums and guitar tone. That sound is pervasive across all of In The Flesh and really gives the guitar and double bass that extra bite, but the cleanliness of the instruments makes the whole package feel a bit weak at parts. The drumming, despite iffy production, is fantastic for the most part. Great tom fills and crashing cymbals overlay the more groovy riffs found on In The Flesh. And the vocals are mixed far too fucking low. They're not guttural or bass-y enough to be abyssal, and instead are left somewhere in the middle between deep, and trying too hard.
Another big issue for me with this album is there's a ton of filler. You've got your worthless "atmospheric" introduction "Awakening." Then you've got "Exhaust" and "Rusted Skin" both of which are essentially ambient tracks. And to top it off, the last track "Nigredo In Necromance" is a rather plain instrumental with a solo.
I put a lot of value into albums as an artform. I like to think of an album as one complete piece of music, each track being the myriad different movements composed and arranged in an order that is both evocative and powerful to the listener. This is where In The Flesh falls flat on it's face. Although "Soulless" has a few memorable moments and a great solo, and "Of This Flesh" serves as a solid title track, the rest of the album leaves much to be desired. "Mechanic Idolatry" piqued my interest for a little, but everything else is mundane filler. If you're looking for Morbid Angel soundalikes, you're better off sticking with the obviously better bands like Mithras. It's a shame too, since those tracks that are interesting and the drumming as well are really great, but the rest fell flatter than a week old soda.
6.25 out of 10
|3.||Of this Flesh (Novus Deus)|
|9.||Nigredo in Necromance|