Fleshpress ‘Hulluuden Muuri’

New offering from Finnish doomsters Fleshpress, ‘Hulluuden Muuri’ is a change of direction from their previous material, with less psychedelia and more distortion, anger and violence. Most of their albums being studio live sessions, this is the first with a long-standing band member playing synth and percussion, intended to add an extra dimension. It’s also the first of their albums to be performed entirely in Finnish, with supposedly more vocal emphasis. The artwork represents an equal aggression to the music itself. It’s available via CD or digital download.

Lunastuksen Ajan Veren Riitti  – Screechy feedback intro there, till the metal overtakes, with its doom laden, darkened essence. Very shouty, horror-esque stuff, with a noticeably obscure aspect. Though this is admittedly bolder and angrier than their previous material, the psychedelic strand is still audible. Somewhere in there, you’ll hear echoes of Jim Morrison perform one of his most tortured Doors-esque screams. So far, it feels more like a clash of ambivalent styles, being experimented with, than a form of music you can get into and enjoy, but each to their own.

Hulluuden Viiltava Lasipinta – More of a low, rumbling cacophony here, you could be forgiven for mistaking for the scratchy distortion heard on a scratched record or in between the station tunings on your radio frequencies. It holds a very sinister edge, though, even if a not entirely understandable one. Grim vocals, which are almost Grim Reaper like in delivery and certainly not something you’d want to listen to alone, late at night. Whilst there is an undoubtable heaviness, it’s not necessarily one you’d associate with more listenable heavy-metal and does emit an obvious funereal fear factor you’d struggle to lose, once it was implanted in your mind.

Oikeamieliset – Opening with what sounds like a funeral bell, with a blackened edge of terror. I’m struggling to find the music within this, since it really just seems to be noise experiments, for the sake of it. Continuing that same way throughout, it doesn’t leave room for further critique.

Siintavan Totuuden Haikaiseva Kajo – Oh! Is that some actual bass notes I hear? If so, then there may just be some redeeming feature to it, but the jury’s still out and so far, the verdict doesn’t look good. Now, the pained howls, shouts and screams take over and a few misguided attempts are made at paying lip service to instrumentals, but I fear it’s too late. Kurt Cobain’s agonised noises from the end of ‘Never Mind’ have risen and this time, they’re accompanied by deafening, dull, indecipherable dumb-bell like sounds, doing the overall painful feel no favours at all.

Voiman Taydellinen Toteutuminen – Oh here we go, more of the same. Ever get that sense of a train approaching you at speed? Well this time, it’s coming at you in slow motion. ……. but wait – now there’s some actual music playing? Where’s it been all through this EP? Why leave it till now, when most will probably have switched off and gone to take some tranquillisers by now? Shame about the poorly timed demo of something approaching musical capability, cos sadly, it’s too little, too late and it’s still overdubbed by background cacophony. More animal-esque howls, but this time, with a Latinised edge. Still, though, the overriding sense is of some poor soul, having had their drink spiked with acid, screaming, ‘get me out of here’, in the midst of a terrifying trip, to places over which a discreet veil is best drawn. Some attempt is made at drum variations, but no, the train’s about to hit and there’s no chance of it braking in time.

Overall – If you can imagine the worst nightmare of an experimental recreational drug user, who’s finally gone too far and OD’d on all the wrong stuff, you’re probably there. Think no more about it.

2/10 **

For fans of obscure noise forms and the shady outcomes of experimentation with sounds produced by those who’ve given up on metal.

Release Date – July 14th 2017

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