Fleshletting by Wretched Fate

From the wombs of Sweden, a breeding ground that we are indebted to for oh so many simply fantastic bands of the metal genre, burst Wretched Fate with their debut of Fleshletting. Don’t think about it too hard… this is some articulate, venomous, ultimately infectious, catchy, and heart pounding death metal that let will do the flesh letting for you. In fact, it’ll turn you inside out, drop you in a vat of boiling bodily fluid, then do it again. Doesn’t sound like your idea of a good time? Then I wholeheartedly suggest you stay far away from this release and let metalhead freaks like us enjoy every single second of it. A catalog defining moment for Redefining Darkness records, and a pivotal step in the right direction for death metal itself, Wretched Fate unleash an album upon us that is as vile as it is stunning, chaotic as it is articulate, and brutal as it is beautiful.. in terms of death metal, that is. I promise with one listen and any self-respecting fan of the genre will be addicted to the nonstop power of the raw riffs and classic death metal vibes. Without further ado…

From the blistering tone of the first bones-to-dust power chords and primal percussion akin to the bludgeoning of Hammer Smashed Face, as the introduction to the opening track, I knew we were going to be into for a special, flesh-ripping, death metal treat. By a minute into the first song, Wretched Fate, I was completely in…meathook, razor wire, and corpse sinker. The guitar tone is immediately thunderous, sharp, and threatening; and any band that utilizes those classic metal pinch harmonics in the first minute of the first song of their album is a band I am a fan of, no further questions asked or needed. The drumming fills up the dark voids created by their wretched sounds, and pollute every square inch of space left over with naturally sharp sound and a ferocity missing from most modern death metal acts. Their sound is very purposeful and natural, not over triggered or overly stimulated just for the sake of sounding brutal and taking up space. The bellows of the vocals are unique and powerful all on their own, as the style is not overly guttural nor scream-filled, although they’re certainly something to scream about. I hate to throw out the blackened death metal term because that’s not entirely accurate here, but the do have that flare to them. Adrain Selmani provides vocals that captures a style unique to his own and sounds like their sitting one a hellish throne somewhere in-between Corpsegrinder and Glenn Benton… and as AC/DC hath once proclaimed, hell ain’t a bad place to be. But we knew that already. The nasty bass tone is not only in my book a crucial indgredient for a great death metal record, it is mandatory. Wretched Fate deliver all of this, inked in human blood, bound in human flesh, recorded and produced from the volcanoes of hell, and presented to us in an outstanding 12 song album that is among the best. Put it this way, I easily have my eye on it for best of 2019 list (its January) and with a doubt contender for best death metal release of the year.

The awesomely titled Fleshletting, wastes abso-fucking-lutely ZERO time delivering the death metal goods, as the opening song was a special exercise in guitar-heavy, old -school, back to basics, know-how-to-write-a-fucking-song-instead-of-just-being-bruuutal, punch in the face complete with a throat rip and a spitting blissful blood shower of victory (you can imagine the first song however YOU want, that’s just me), and the second song very much flows in that same vein. Spoiler Alert: so do every song on the record. THEREFORE, I will not waste either of our times with a mundane track-by-track review of death metal praise, but rather, explain what makes this record so special and stand out so much in a viciously competitive market of underground extreme metal. According to my calculations, and as I mentioned before, Wretched Fate clearly know how to write a GOOD SONG. Period. It makes not a flesh-rotting bit of difference that it is death metal at this point of the review, the songs speak for themselves and if you would conjure some black magic and slow them down.. they would still sound like awesome rock tunes. Although not to say they are a “rock” band by any stretch of our demented imaginations, they certainly flex their extreme metal muscles and assert their dominance among the genre every now and again, perhaps in the rapid fire instrumentation on “Altars of Misery” complete with a gloriously spooky ritualistic bridge section of chaos, or the frantic splatter of “Hived Mind”. The beauty of Wretched Fate, I’m saying, is they are not overly extreme with no rhyme or reason, its cold and calculated death metal, which rocks. It comes as no surprise that they originally started as a two-man project by aforementioned vocalist Adrain Selmani and guitar virtuoso Mats Anderssen, as they are a powerful and inspiring working force on this. The combination of the seemingly effortless ability of Andersen to lay down some effective and addictive riffs, licks, and ripping solos along with the powerful shifts in vocal ranges from Selmani sound like two demons trying to be tamed; and the result speaks for itself. There is plenty of wonderful guitar melody and beautifully composed instrumentation and atmospheric pieces with acoustic guitars, backing vocal chants from hell, and keyboards; but I would be hard pressed to label them “melodic death metal.” They are very much their own, unique, and absolutely killer sound that does not fall short in anyway and understands the scope of the genre. Wretched Fate seem to take elements from many realms of extreme (and non-extreme) music and let their own flesh do the talking..hence, Fleshletting.

Not only is this a gruesome display of razor-sharp death metal as each song individually could be a single, but as an album itself, it’s ALMOST overwhelming. Seriously, it’s twelve FULL songs. All killer and absolutely no filler. The shortest track clocks in at 3:15, while the longest is pushing 7. This makes for an absolutely relentless listen with over an hour of pure sickening and head spinning extreme metal, but not that I’m complaining as each song seems to rival the next. The production remains crisp and freshly sliced flesh and as thunderous as roars from Lucifer himself no matter which tactic of death metal Wretched Flesh employ. Wether its the fist in the air and head banging epic anthem of “Epitaph” with clearly heard lyrics and soaring guitar melody and, a cliche-worthy face, melting solo that wouldn’t be out of place on a classic 80’s metal record. All with a deliciously groovy vibe to the final echoes of thunder and church bells. Or the riot inciting singalong “Heading For Beheading” that could be reworked as a fantastic punch in the face of a punk song any day, it’s all rock n roll… And it sounds nothing short of amazing. I would think Erik Rutan produced this album if I didn’t know any better, not to keep name dropping death metal royalty in comparison to Wretched Fate, but credit is given where credit is due. The real gem on this record, for me personally, is “Taker of Souls.” Why, you ask? Blending horror movie samples and old school death metal together is like a fine wine and a bloody steak, it does not get much better. Let alone my favorite film of all time, Evil Dead. As the dark spells of the Necronomicon are recited, the spirits conjure, and the trees shudder in the haunting winds; Wretched Fate unleash the best pure old school death metal tune filled with flesh ripping guitar licks, fierce and rumbling bass tone, tremendous vocals, and the constant pounding of the death metal skins that has me grinning ear to ear and pumping as heavy iron as humanly possible. Yes, this song WILL be on the Death Comes Lifting playlist for a while. Deal with it. You won’t be disappointed.

So, there you have it, freaks. A truly flawless and unique death metal release that lies somewhere in a grave in-between the best old school death metal, the most vile and evil blackened death metal, and some of the most captivating melodic stuff. This is the new album Morbid Angel WISH they wrote. This rules. Play it LOUD and lift HEAVY. Til, next time freaks. And as always, thank you to our friends at Redefining Darkness for outdoing themselves with this one.. keep ‘em coming!!

Rating: 5/5

Gym Rating: 5/5

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