[8th January 2013]
01. Weakest of the Weak
02. The Unwashed Horde
03. A Murderous Creed
04. Scorn of the Earth
05. Love Lies Bleeding
07. Feasting Upon Souls
08. Crafted in Flesh
09. Tempt not the Knife
10. Seize the Moment of Murder
Danish death metal trio Corpus Mortale claim to play aggressive death metal the way it was meant to be. With their third full-length album Fleshcraft, we get to take a look at how they intend to back up that statement.
Corpus Mortale already have an advantage, owing to the fact that they first formed in 1993, at the point in time when some important groundwork was being laid down for the scene: Carcass had evolved into a death metal band with their release of Heartwork; the mighty antagonists Morbid Angel released one of their strongest albums ever in Covenant; Death had Individual Thought Patterns and only the year before Vader had presented their first full-length studio album too. You get the general idea. The point is that Corpus Mortale have travelled alongside the evolution of death metal at a crucial time and that is an important factor in them developing the essences of it they clearly have.
Every track on Fleshcraft is strong; no sore thumbs here. Recorded at the famous Antfarm Studio frequented by the aforementioned Vader and Kataklysm, they have formulated a well-rounded sound for this album, all whilst meeting modern standards. Nothing encroaches on the old school blueprints, and those very blueprints are responsible for a number of very catchy hooks, helped along by some really engaging guitar harmonies. Percussively no effort is spared; it was a bit hard finding who was to be credited for that contribution but history suggests it was a Rasmus Schmidt, and while also handling vocals, the bass work by Martin Rosendhal lends the band some extra defining character; his bass tracks having a tendency to creep nicely through the consistently proficient guitars.
As solid and occasionally catchy as this album is, the songs tend to run their course with no drastic right turns as such, the surprise of which felt missing. The opening track “Weakest of the Weak“ is funnily enough one of the strongest; a sort of racy “Dominate“-era Morbid Angel number, and “Scorn of the earth” is strangely anthemic and brighter sounding than the rest, which tend toward the darker and more brooding side.
The predominant influence behind Corpus Mortale is clearly the inclination toward the Eastern European scene – namely groups like Vader, and earlier Decapitated - though spatterings of a Gothenburg-esque style do come through too. In retrospect, anyone who loves their death metal done right should take the Danish three-piece’s claim with a grain of salt, and check Fleshcraft out for themselves.