Consisting of a single 24-minute monitor, Fleshvessel’s introductory EP (2020’s Bile of Man Reborn) was—to reference our personal evaluation—an admirably difficult and varied evocation of Demilich, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Yes, Kayo Dot, and Shostakovich. In different phrases, it pinpointed simply how multidimensional and skillful the Chicago experimental dying steel quartet had been proper out of the gate.
Gratefully, they double down on these qualities with their first full-length assortment, the curiously titled Craving: Promethean Fates Sealed. Clocking in at slightly below an hour in size, it’s a tour-de-force of maximum tonal and stylistic shifts that—miraculously sufficient—mix seamlessly into an expertise that’s each gratifyingly vicious and sophisticatedly eloquent. Solely a handful of their contemporaries ever handle such profoundly motivated and gratifying concoctions (not to mention on their first LP), making Craving: Promethean Fates Sealed a daring declaration of function and potential.
As soon as once more, Fleshvessel is comprised of multi-instrumentalists Alexander Torres, Amos “Troll” Hart, Gwyn Hoetzer, and Sakda Srikoetkhruen (with Hart additionally offering vocals). Cumulatively, they incorporate the usual steel devices alongside much less typical instruments akin to Puerto Rican cuatro, flute, piccolo, ocarina, viola, harp, piano, and Thai phin. Throw in just a few visitor musicians enjoying Glockenspiel, sleigh bells, finger cymbals, trumpet, clarinet, and darbuka and you’ve got fairly the eclectic and worldly arsenal of timbres with which to work (which Fleshvessel do in fantastic methods).
Because the press release notes, the songs—in addition to Carlos Agraz’s arresting cowl artwork—heart on “humanity’s battle in opposition to itself in searching for out the betterment of our world.” Moreover, the band explains:
“Everyone knows Prometheus because the Titan who stole the gods’ hearth and introduced it to humanity and was thus punished for his betrayal. The album title makes use of this well-known fable as an allegory for humanity’s searching for of enlightenment, creating a greater, extra accepting world, and the battle in opposition to itself to achieve that aim. In the end, there isn’t any Titan that may come to avoid wasting us, [and] carry us up from the grime and filth. It has to come back from inside ourselves to unseal our fates, and open our hearts and minds to goodness.”
Fleshvessel waste no time conjuring up contemplative musical whirlwinds, as expansive opener “Winter Got here Early” firmly establishes what listeners can anticipate going ahead. Following its evocatively classical prelude, it bursts right into a tirade of baroque black steel desperation not not like a classically embellished revision of Agalloch’s very good Ashes In opposition to the Grain. From there, it emphasizes conventional vehemence amidst additional exploring prog rock flights of fancy, calming folks passages, jubilant jazz basslines, avant-garde nightmarishness, and different wide-ranging detours. It’s unbelievable.
Fortunately, the remaining half-dozen compositions construct upon that idiosyncratic excellence in a large number of striving methods.
As an illustration, “A Stain” largely sticks to a progressive dying steel path whereas sneaking in every kind of fascinatingly gothic instrumental intersections—in addition to Frank Zappa-esque rhythmic breakdowns—beneath the floor. Later, “The Void Chamber” provides multicultural and orchestral aptitude because of its horns and miscellaneous different textures, whereas epic nearer “Eyes But to Open” is commonly delicately atmospheric and haunting. There are even three subtly tasteful “Vignette[s]” to tie all the pieces collectively.
On the danger of sounding hyperbolic, Craving: Promethean Fates Sealed is a outstanding accomplishment from a very good band. By increasing their vary and imaginative and prescient from the already stellar Bile of Man Reborn, Fleshvessel have reached a brand new degree of madcap malevolence. At instances playful, philosophical, and downright pulverizing (generally in rapid succession), it’s a virtually flawless creation filled with genre-splicing adventurousness and emotional zigzags.
Search it out ASAP.