Review: Stass “Songs Of Flesh And Decay” [Emanzipation Productions]

Review: Stass “Songs Of Flesh And Decay” [Emanzipation Productions]

- in Reviews
Score 45%
45 %
User Rating : 5 (1 votes)

It’s more conventional for the vocals to be the weakest part of an album, but Dreams of Rotting Flesh goes against those norms as Felix Stass leads his band with strong and punchy vocals tersely delivered from within a well-blended mix. The songs are catchy and melodic with a high amount of refined grit, making for some nice thrash grooves.

The compression works really well on the vocals but makes the drumming sound a little flat and removes all the charm and nuance from the guitar playing. Though the riffs are catchy and intense, one would expect far better from Rogga Johansson as the 4-note hooks and unimaginative and rudderless solos often sound like your 12-year-old nephew warming up for his grade 3 guitar exam. The solo on I Work at Night goes from a one-note tremolo to just being a one-note vibrato, which is like exchanging your warm pint for one that’s mostly head. Fear of the Living Dead has a nice yet generic solo but starts with the guitar equivalent of starting your sentences with ‘Errrrr’ to get your brain in gear.

The vocals come from within the mix rather than being slapped on top of the music like we hear so often these days, which gives it an extra warmth, and the delivery is brutally coarse and deserving of a much darker background to launch from as the punctual growling seems totally at odds with the trebly chords and licks – it sounds as if Felix took a wrong turn in the studio and walked into someone else’s vocal booth (imagine seeing Eddie Hall sat drinking tea at your gran’s over 70s sewing group in his powerlifting gear and you’ll get the picture). The lyrics can be a bit weak and the corny, bootleg Cannibal Corpse references to skin that peels, bleached bones, hatchet lovers, and bony fingers will bring either grimaces or memories of a girl you used to know.

I turned into something of an Hercule Poirot trying to find any discernible bass riffs and even dug out my bassiest headphones whilst burying my head under the mattress to see if I could hear any, but no. Remember when you’d cut a coke can in half and put the ends over your earphones to use as makeshift Walkman speakers at school? Whilst smoking behind the bike sheds? And the kids would find you and be like ‘Sir, why aren’t you taking the class?’ No? Just me then. Well, that’s your DT homework for tonight, although if you do it whilst playing this album it’ll mostly sound like white noise.

Release date: January 15, 2021

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