Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Flourishing - The Sum Of All Fossils

During this past month I've been spinning Flourishing's The Sum Of All Fossils. It's easily one of the less mentioned bands in this year's teeming pool of death metal debuts, but The Sum Of All Fossils easily deserves so much more talk.

This year has seen a lot of death metal debuts and releases by established artists, but Flourishing tops nearly all of them with their convoluting passages. As I mentioned, Flourishing is a death metal band. Their style could be described as experimental, but that would be comparing them to some of metal's lowest common denominators (Unexpect I'm looking at you). Here you have something much more special and worthy of being considered as such.

Flourishing's experimental, nearly progressive brand of death metal is comparable to fantastic acts such as Gorgut's and Vengeful's, but with it's own unique flare. The music is densely layered and composed of winding passages that are not afraid to abruptly change key in the middle of a track. This makes for a fully engaging listen and one that you can spin time and time again and still find new nuances. There's also a crushing, tectonic rhythm provided by the mid-paced but powerful drumming and the deep, organic basslines. It has what is also easily one of the most rich productions and one of the best mixing jobs of the last year.

The Sum Of All Fossils begins with one of the faster tracks on the album "A Thimble's Worth." The pacing isn't breakneck ala Origin or Gigan (on certain tracks), but is more midpaced for technical death, and it works so much better. Tracks like "In Vivid Monochrome" and "Momentary Senses" are bound to be technical death classics, with their interesting structures and key switching. That's another one of the highlights of Flourishing's well-composed music: they often play major as well as minor scales, which is always fun to hear in death metal when done with the traditional sense of relentless aggression. This brings out a lighter side of the band that's reminiscent of Anata's more progressive tracks. The lyrics are generally positive to fit with the brighter scales, and they also have a lot of introspective qualities similar to Gorguts and Ulcerate. However those qualities get kind of awkward on "By Which We're Cemented," where there's an odd clean vocal section. That one part is not enough to ruin the song though, and the rest of the song and album grinds along like continental plate on mantle. There's another one of these sections on "Momentary Senses," but it's fleeting and laced with effects, making it at least bearable. The rest of the song is a writhing primordial monstrosity and that major scale brightness I mentioned earlier shows itself with just over minute left in the track. There's actually an interesting, grind-esque rhythm on "Summary," and the closer is a fittingly dissonant conclusion to one of the best albums released in 2011. Definitely check this one out.

9.5 out of 10


1. A Thimble’s Worth

2. The Prospects of Rejection

3. By Which We’re Cemented

4. In Vivid Monochrome

5. Momentary Senses

6. Fossil Record

7. Summary

8. As if I Bathed in Excellence


  1. I listened to this just a few days ago actually. Definitely some of the most interesting music I've heard all year.

  2. I absolutely love it. Really interesting stuff that in my opinion doesn't get boring after a few spins. Potential AOTY here for sure.