Rotting Flesh

Album Title: 
Infected Purity
Release Date: 
Monday, December 21, 2015
Review Type: 

Well well, seems like Greek metallers of Rotting Flesh are still around… No flesh rotting yet out there…

This band was enormously active during the nineties, with an impressive number of demonstrational recordings. As from this century, the band’s activities were more quiet, but Rotting Flesh never left the bloodied fields of death and war. However, each time the band took some time before releasing another album (quite a contrast to their 20th century’s era!). After 2003’s Dreaming… The Underworld (Sleaszy Rider Records) and 2009’s 6 Enigma (which was independently released), 2014 finally saw the return of this Greek act by means of the third full length studio album, Infected Purity. The band self-released this album on September 10th 2014, and fifteen months later a coalition of Symbol Of Domination Productions and Murdher Records took care of a re-release. That’s what this review will be about…

The material was originally recorded in 2013 and 2014 at the Thessaloniki-based Red House Studio with producer Emmanouil Hermano (Starve The Hydra, Omega etc.). Infected Purity has a total running time of forty-two minutes and goes further than 6 Enigma.

After the symphonic-operatic introduction Altar Of Eclipse, Blackmass (guitars and lead vocals), Argh (bass guitars) and Mancer (drums), and quite some session musicians, bring a fast and melodic, rhythmic and energetic form of orchestral Black / Death Metal, including a huge dose of keyboards, an overload on tempo-changes, and so much more. The keyboards vary a lot in their presence. Sometimes they aren’t but giving some additional atmosphere at the background, then again they take over the lead, creating a full-bombastic orchestration, and once in a while they add something horrific-ominous, cosmic, emotional, well, you know: they are quite an important piece of the whole concept.

There is a lot of variety in each single song, as well as in between the different compositions. It’s not just the differentiation in tempo (well, about everything in between slow and fast passes the revue) or structure I am talking about. It has to do with changes in mood, in approach, in atmosphere too. More desolate and integer pieces interact with brutal eruptions of pure hatred, blasphemy goes hand in hand with mysticism, timeless tradition appears in a symbiosis with grooving modernism. Of course that implements some clichés as well: groovy catchiness, female vocals, even grotesque artwork and crafted lyrics. Besides, what to think about the electronics at the start of Abaddon, or the short, quasi-grinding eruption Skullgrinder?...

Production-wise Infected Purity is an example of highly professional studio work. Yes, personally I think the whole might sound somewhat over-produced, yet I dare not to pretend that the result is exaggerated clinical in sound, for that would be too rude. But seen the universal execution and timeless themes, such decent mix is not a bad thing at all.

I am pretty sure that an album like Infected Purity will please quite an extended public (grand-grandparents and nuns -at least most of them- not included). And then again: why not? I am personally rather ‘underground’-oriented, and not specifically looking for catchier stuff, but hey, Rotting Flesh has always been a crafted act. With this album they still prove to be experienced composers, professional musicians, and great performers whatsoever.