Deeds of Flesh

The latest of the chromatic atonal blasting death/grind hybrids from the California heartlands, Deeds of Flesh mangle song structures to make coherence of chaos.
flag of the United States Deeds of Flesh - Gradually Melted (1995)
Deeds of Flesh - Trading Pieces (1996)
Deeds of Flesh - Inbreeding the Anthropophagi (1998)
Deeds of Flesh - Path of the Weakening (1999)
Deeds of Flesh - Mark of the Legion (2001)
Gradually Melted
Wild Rags
Production: Solid and clear.

Review: In the earliest development of their intensely dynamic and variable style of technical death metal, Deeds of Flesh mix melodic infrastructure with constant uptempo pounding and percussion-oriented impact power chord blasts melding into structural evolution and connective phrasing similar to the gods of this New York Death Metal-derived style of explosive grinding death metal, Suffocation and Morpheus Descends.


1. Three Minute Crawlspace (2:49)
2. Gradually Melted (3:57)
3. Human Sandbags (3:44)
4. Feelings of Metal Through Flesh (3:24)
Length: 13:56

deeds of flesh gradually melted 1995 wild rags
Copyright © 1995 Wild Rags

The art of epic riff contexture molding in a method that allows both phrase and song structure to grow to encompass inner narrative, as expressed in these barrages of varied riffs and cyclic evolutions of theme, creates the framework in which melodic accents and powerful basic harmonies of three-note low-end modal progressions suggest a contrast between the lowest and highest orders of composition and resonance expressed as a foundation of design. Further, each of these tunes "rips" in the sense of maintaining speed and intensity while developing a unique hook or poetic configuration to a song.

Guttural vocals offset with shrieking antagonist counterpoint guiding it, the highly rhythmic forward motion of Deeds of Flesh paints into death metal a depth of texture which is exploited on the masterpieces "Inbreeding the Anthropophagi" and "Path of the Weakening" and explicated in nascent form here through its connections to structuralist metal indulging a postmodernist chaoticism in aesthetic in exchange for a compression and encoding of theme to achieve a density sufficient for atmospheric development.

Crushing in rhythmic momentum and the expectation of thrash-style interrupted continuity which itself becomes the expectation and cycles the music further within its internal growth pattern, the overwhelming depth of riff variation and structural articulation that accompanies the primal battering projecting this music. As it is the first work from this band, some unsteadiness exists but also pulses the most fervent tempo of their ideals and aspirations.

Production: Without overamplifying the bass the production on this album adequately represents all instruments and preserves a sense of tonal distinction essential for distinguishing the cornucopia of varied note patterns building each riff group. Bass guitar finds itself somewhat lost more in timbre than tone but is discernible.

Review: Mocking and mirroring the schizophrenic approach of a society of deceptive objectivity overlaid on a complex system of natural processes and balances, the riff-salad songs of Deeds of Flesh assemble intricacy from the underlying connections of sublime structures within a barrage of ever-changing rhythm and variations of associated musical components. The most extraordinary fusion of this release is the integration of the styles of death metal that emerged after conventional songwriting, involving an interplay between vocal cadence and seemingly erratic staccato variance rhythms, with the ambitious outlay of rhythmic fluidity that marked early 80s death metal. As clearly as one hears Suffocation in this release one hears also the influence of works by Slayer and Death.


1. End of All
2. Feeding Time
3. Inbreeding the Anthropophagi
4. Infecting Them With Falsehood
5. Canvas of Flesh
6. Ritual of Battle
7. Fly Shrine
8. Gradually Melted
Length: 30:46

deeds of flesh inbreeding the anthropophagi 1998 repulse
Copyright © 1998 Repulse

Where vocals in death metal contribute, they become significant in the development of song structure and theory, which in the case of Deeds of Flesh is a definitive addition to the craft exhibited by their ever-shifting mosaic of riffage. Gutteral booms interlaced with high-end shrieking institute both foreshadowing of rhythm and melodic integration with what elements of this highly atonal release can be described as melodic: structure based on the continuance of tonal development rather than harmonic layering. And of course the feast of endurance drumming we have come to expect is here, augmented by a delight in precision highlights with high hat and cymbals that invokes multiple traditions throughout metal and grindcore.

Although at first approach a seemingly incomprehensible barrage of divergent riffs, this music evolves in listener understanding as it is memorized so that the individual voices behind each viewpoint in a collection of fragmented riffs can speak. There is a thundering buffeting assault, a mocking light and savage ballet touch, and a gleeful, lifelike voice that speak from the sonic collage as well as the traditions and theories of death metal integrated in a wide range of structures. Instrumentalism is much improved over previous releases, and with a newer understanding of the complexity they wield and its simplicity in juncture, Deeds of Flesh stand poised to contribute significant epics to the death metal world.

Path of the Weakening
Unique Leader
Production: Clear and exact but strenuously linear production.

Review: In raging buffered structures of intricate relationships between elements of conflict in the progression of a unifying theme this band slash out structures from percussive blasts overlaid with speeding double-strumming guitar that incorporates evolutions in black and death metal to use internally harmonized melody to augment mood in chord progressions and consequently, the larger motif of changing riffs.

Hacked from rough shapes of dominantly themed pattern, these songs lay claim to riffwriting ability through an amazingly facile sense of direction within riffs and how to vary vector slightly to produce great effect in concert with rhythm, which is its less visible yet essential expertise in creating thematic hierarchies of riff motifs which expand into powerchord phrasing architecturally ratified in infrastructure through delicate but direct use of internally harmonized melody within the tonal space of each chord, producing a slow rise of inner cryptic themes from abruptly variable blasting, conclusive, complex music.


1. Indigenous to the Appalling (Mutinous Human) (3:49)
2. Lustmord (2:41)
3. Path of the Weakening (4:51)
4. Summarily Killed (3:32)
5. Sounds of Loud Reigns (3:27)
6. Execute the Anthropophagi (4:00)
7. I Die on My Own Terms (2:36)
8. Sense of the Diabolic (3:19)
9. A Violent God (3:28)
Length: 31:45

deeds of flesh path of the weakening 1999
Copyright © 1999 Unique Leader

Its sense of theme is acquired in the Wagnerian sense, where the simple juxtaposition of ideas of different musical directions creates a tone centering and framework through spatial aesthetics, but integrates its composition through abstract and dynamically acquired yet relevant relationships in tone and arrangement through the fact of their motion between hard (stopping the flow of momentum) and soft (continuous flow) rhythm depending on the larger pattern to each song naturally commanding a sense of harmony to this space. Done without pretension, but with listener-hardened and refined rendering which is designed to present the most intense metal moments in succession without melting out listener tolerance for intensity. In the same vein, dynamics are given enough consideration to grant selective and careful value to how the focus of the song is orchestrated through transfer of intensity in mood.

This iteration of the music of Deeds of Flesh has the speeding complexity of motion that distinguishes its style for percussive abrupt rhythmic strumming and sudden dynamic atmospheric shifts as aesthetic, finding a theory of assembly for the divergent chaotic fragments of melody it builds together into ecosystems of interaction between riff thematic codices, forming a texture that suddenly produces its clarity in a distant contemplation with nihilistic intent and universal relevance, exposing the raw lucidity in this gruesomely pounding, highly listenable music.

Mark of the Legion
Unique Leader
Production: Shady and thick while highly discernible.

Review: From an unknown generation of American death metal Deeds of Flesh sculpt their bursts of violent energy with essential rhythm creating shapes from which thematic ideas emerge, undulating within a percussive rhythm section and abrupt, instantaneous arachnoid motion in textures of riff creation. Guttural vocals boom through hollowed sections of the carcass of humanity as intricate voices of guitar and percussion layer ideas which ferment and erupt as colliding themes which will cycle through a mating ritual of nothingness and infinity before recycling themselves in finality. A vigilant sense of space and time as setting for a narrative of gurgling, volatile music anchors this work while its playfulness in texture expands it.


1. Cleansed by Fire (4:29)
2. An Eternity of Feasting and Brawling (4:19)
3. Mark of the Legion (5:23)
4. Spewing Profligacy (4:40)
5. Fulfilled in Warfare (3:34)
6. Contest of Wills (3:50)
7. Master of Murder (4:23)
8. Ideal Genocide (5:37)
9. Drink the Blood (5:24)
Length: 41:41

deeds of flesh mark of the legion 2001 unique leader records
Copyright © 2001 Unique Leader

Often careless or offhandedly direct in its use of transition and tone center, this album like the other recent offerings of Deeds of Flesh is an ancient computer punchcard encoding the grimoire of exhalted evil in silences and blasts, interrupting itself to parenthetically issue the code which then generates its themes in riff progressions that seem random until the themes of the song are clear and its conflict resolved. Cryptic through complex use of straightforward elements, this release emphasizes listenability and worthiness of melody shadowing theme in its songs of driving, relentless percussive death metal.

Where the proliferation of themes in organic covering peaks, it is unified by a sense of melody which can etch within the dual intervals used for a foundation to motif, as means of clarity and opening of potential action in variant theme, the shapes which complement established motions such to advance song through narrative and seasonal undulation. Human in its approach but inhuman in its tactics, music such as this renders the listener numb while feeding them a viral code of anti-value in combat with anti-nothingness.

As a three-piece this band are highly effective, with aggressive vocals balancing percussion and content enfolded into lyricism by distorted stringed instruments, and their use of theme is advancing per album to the point of some familiarity. A dimension remains, swinging closer with the complexity and ease of technique to this pounding and irreparably damaging album.

deeds of flesh trading pieces 1996
1. Carnivorous Ways
2. Born Then Torn Apart
3. Trading Pieces
4. Hunting Humans
5. Impious Offering
6. Acid Troops
7. Deeds of Flesh
8. Erected on Stakes
9. Chunks in the Shower
10. Blasted
Length: 30:19
Trading Pieces (Repulse 1996)
The aspirant deathgrind warriors who created a masterful piece of initial work with "Gradually Melted" somehow let the requirements and image demands of being evil gore metallers go to their heads, and the result is a selfconsciously slavish album that indulges genre with every turn and fails to make good on the promise of the nascent style developing on the EP. Although instrumentation and songwriting have in some ways improved they cannot surmount the lack of essential material, and in this contentless plain the style itself falls flat with its basic assumptions laid out as communicative material. Where they previously suppressed many of the moron metal elements, those are in strength here and overwhelm any chance even pure form had of rescuing this band, so it is fortunate they have generated consistently excellent work since.
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