Thursday, November 27, 2008

Dirge - Fleshcrawler EP

Sadly, Dirge's last EP has lost a bit of the bite that Soulstorm had in favor of a more heavy-set crushing style. The punk influences, thankfully, are still visible throughout this six song testament to the lost art form of thrashing crossover goodness. Though moments of the release make me laugh outright at the vocals - usually because after I hear them I immediately associate them with the vocals in the chorus of Thor's Devastation of Musculation (look this up on Youtube drunk for a good laugh) - other moments put a wide grin on my face and remind me of why Dirge became one of my favorite unknowns from the garden state.

Whereas Soulstorm had a metallic, crisp and brittle production, Fleshcrawler has a moist, fluid and dingy production as if the whole album was properly recorded in a dank city punk club with fourteen extremely drunk audience members extruding enough energy to make forty lesser men run and cower. Erik Tucker's guitar playing is nothing to drool over but he weaves some invigorating "I have no shredding talent" solos across the album. The guitar is a bit thin though the beautiful bubbling tone of the bass fills in and plays an integral part in supporting the album's mediocre songs. Dan's drums are a bit low in the mix though they cut through with the thin guitar not providing much masking power to cover the dullness of the drums.

Boilerplate opens the album slow and heavy and points to an emphasis on the bass. Corrupted is faster and uglier. The album's third and fourth spot are generally lackluster and forgettable with Predictions suffering from some poppish moments that the band would never have been caught dead doing earlier on. Small Scene matches the bands earlier style best of all the tracks on the EP. After an Obituary-esque lead, the composition flows into a smooth jazz section before dissolving into a hasty scathing guitargasm; strongest track yet still nowhere near five-star gourmet dining.


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