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Nader Sadek: In The Flesh

It's slightly unfortunate that this new death metal release should appear at around the same time (and on the same label, Season Of Mist) as the, erm, controversial return of Morbid Angel. However, all the outraged MA fans currently venting their spleen on message boards worldwide would do well to give this album a listen, as I feel sure it would be far more to their liking.

Nader Sadek is a conceptual artist, known for sculptures, masks and installations used for shows by bands such as Mayhem and Sunn O))). He is a non-musician, and is effectively the conceptual mastermind behind this release, for which he has recruited a star cast of musicians from the extreme metal fraternity; the key players are vocalist Steve Tucker (ex-Morbid Angel), guitarist Rune Eriksen (ex-Mayhem) and drummer Flo Mournier (Cryptopsy), whilst guests from such luminaries as Monstrosity and Cattle Decapitation also feature.

The music on In The Flesh is predominantly pacy and intricate technical death metal, with hints of black metal here and there. There's plenty of variety within this basic remit there's a number of atmospheric, industrial-flavoured segue pieces, and many of the songs drop their pace at times (closer 'Nigredo In Necromance' is a slow, doomy number with spoken word vocals; 'Of This Flesh (Novus Deus)' a grandiose, gothic-influenced track with gregorian monk-like chanting). As you'd expect, the musicianship is first class the guitar solo's are intricate and inventive, and Mounier's drumming is superb, incorporating some effective tribal beats in places.

All in all, this is one of the better death metal releases I've heard over the last year or so, and if you're a fan of the genre this is definitely worth checking out.

Track Listing
1. Awakening
2. Petrophilia
3. Of This Flesh (Novus Deus)
4. Exhaust Capacitor
5. Soulless
6. Rusted Skin
7. Mechanic Idolatry
8. Sulffer
9. Nigredo In Necromance

Added: July 20th 2011
Reviewer: Tom De Val
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2674
Language: english

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Nader Sadek: In The Flesh
Posted by Jeff B, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-07-20 21:16:33
My Score:

Nader Sadek is a rather interesting project. Consisting of the Egyptian-born, but New York-based, conceptual artist of the same name, as well as Steve Tucker (ex-Morbid Angel), Flo Mounier (Cryptopsy), and Rune Eriksen (Ava Inferi and ex-Mayhem), this band can be considered a "supergroup" of sorts. Nader Sadek is known for utilizing other artistic medium such as sculpting, and this project is supposedly his first venture into the world of recorded music, seeing that he composed much of In The Flesh, as well as providing the lyrical concepts. The lyrics here are actually quite interesting, and deal with mankind's dependence on petroleum and how this can lead to self-destruction due to the society's greedy ways. Topics like this aren't discussed often enough in death metal, and it's great to see that Nader Sadek created an interesting and unique concept for this debut effort. In The Flesh isn't without its flaws, but it's a generally exceptional effort that should satisfy anyone who enjoys old school death metal with a modern edge. In the wake of the highly controversial return of Morbid Angel, fans seeking something from the band's alumni that's actually worth listening to should definitely give this solid observation a spin!

The music here is old school death metal with black metal edges and the occasional melodic touch. In The Flesh is a rather eclectic release, though, so expect punishing technicality, a few groovy riffs, and some progressive tendencies here. Quality-wise, the music ranges from very good to excellent. There are only a handful of really mind-blowing moments that truly strike me as "special", but they are numerous enough to keep In The Flesh from ever reaching mediocrity. The musicianship, as expected from these veterans, is chock-full of well-played technicalities and extremely impressive throughout the album's full duration. These guys are considered professionals for a reason, and the complex drum patterns and blazing guitar solos just reek with class. Steve Tucker's vocals sound a bit too over-processed at times, but he generally comes across as very powerful and commanding. The production, courtesy of Nader Sadek, is also very professional and powerful - just as it should be. My only major complaint here is that In The Flesh is a very short album, and is over in just a half hour. A few more tracks would've been greatly beneficial here, even if quality is still ultimately more important than quantity... and there is plenty of quality here!

So all in all, In The Flesh is a very successful release from Nader Sadek that should satisfy anybody who enjoys death metal on the more eclectic side. I would've liked a little less vocal processing and a longer album duration, but neither of those things are major hindrances to the overall quality of the album. Every song here is memorable and well-crafted, and that's ultimately what matters most. 3.5 stars and a warm recommendation are well-deserved for this debut offering from Nader Sadek. Anyone who, like me, was sorely disappointed by the new Morbid Angel album may want to get their spirits lifted with this high-quality death metal effort.

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