Afterbirth were formed all the way back in 1993. They were influential because they pioneered slam and brought elements into death metal. They’re a supergroup featuring members of Helmet and Artificial Brain. After a gruelling three years of recording, they’ll release their second album ‘Four-Dimensional Flesh’ this Friday. It’ll melt your face because of its brutal slam-influenced riffs.
Opener ‘Beheading the Buddha’ is extremely brutal, because it’s assaulting riffs and frenetic drumming set the tone for the album. The blast beats and gutturals on ‘Spiritually Transmitted Disease are reminiscent of Necrophagist because they create a truly disgusting atmosphere. The guitars on ‘Everything in It’s Path’ are wonderfully loud and their aggressive presence boosts one of the best songs on the album.
The production is intentionally muddy and raw. However this works in Afterbirths favour because it adds life to the instruments. This helps on the atmospheric tracks because the drums and bass bring variety, giving the guitars space to breathe.
The bass tones are very heavy, especially on ‘Girl In Landscape’. There is a beautiful synth which syncs together perfectly with the guitar riff.
I think ‘Four Dimensional Flesh is a brilliant album. It shows that Afterbirth are still very much alive in the death metal scene. They have explored new influences while staying brutal, creating an album that is well worth listening to.
Words by Ermis Madikopoulos