Deeds of Flesh - Portals to Canaan

Review: Deeds of Flesh – Portals to Canaan

Portals to Canaan (2013)

United States, Unique Leader, Technical Brutal Death Metal

On Portals to Canaan, the eighth full-length (in 20 years!), Deeds of Flesh boasts a new lineup, featuring bassist Ivan Munguia (Arkaik, Brain Drill, ex-Odious Mortem) and lead guitarist Craig Peters (ex-Arkaik).  An apt description is the title and content of the track “Rise of the Virvum Juggernaut,” which features a sample from “The Thing”:

The juggernaut
To Consume
The Enemy
The ultimate
Staying hidden
Then Snatching
All forms of life
And growing

Deeds of Flesh has always written complex and contorted songs, but on Portals the combination of the new talent has resulted in a captivating blend between ten-ton sledgehammers and precision lasers, pairing old Suffocation with modern Spawn of Possession. This is meticulously calculated obliteration, moved from the decaying crypts to alien landscapes. The guitar work changes pace masterfully, accenting a variety between crunchy chugs, running gallop, and slow discordance.

The leads are mesmerizing as they twist and contort like an alien creature evolving in the presence of the listener. They are psychedelic and hallucinatory, like an ephemeral beast. See “Celestial Serpents” and “Xeno-virus.”

Deeds of Flesh employs some studio distortions and effects to break up the songs. On the enigmatic juggernaut “Entranced in Decades of Psychedelic Sleep” a distorted alien transmission closes the song. Samples are used sparingly and effectively, such as the trans-galactic warning of obliteration closing the title track. Meanwhile, the auditory destruction continues, making the sample an effective addition rather than a distraction.

Drummer Mike Hamilton is relentless and precise with swelling and receding double bass interjections. His hands offer a more controlled brutality, issuing complex marching orders throughout the album. Unfortunately, the production of the bass guitar is not as in the forefront as previous releases, but Munguia’s contribution is organic and noteworthy.

The injection of new talent for Deeds of Flesh has created a mutant-alien-cyborg colossus that will appear on many top lists for 2013. Do not miss this extraterrestrial creation of destructive organic machinery!

Rating: 10/10

Reviewer: Witness to the Void

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