Defleshed Fast Forward

Swedish metal has become a musical institution, and the Gothenburg sound has become a household name in any discriminating metal head abode. Defleshed are from Sweden, but claim no part of the Gothenburg trend; instead, this three-piece plays "solid metal exclusively" with nary a discernible melody or lilting harmony. The band forges incredibly durable thrash arrangements along the well-trodden paths of At The Gates and Abducted-era Hypocrisy, and the opening cuts "The Return Of The Flesh" and "The Heat From Another Sun" are lean, mean and screaming. After 11 of these brief, cranium-cracking workouts, however, the listener is left with the startling realisation that all the songs sound the same, right down to the tempo. Even the bonus live tracks, "Under The Blade" and "Thorns Of A Black Rose" (uncredited, though they're probably early demo cuts), don't alter the breakneck pace. True, some might dig Defleshed's unerring focus, but others will rightly take their one-dimensionality as plain flat. (Pavement)