Defleshed

Reclaim the Beat

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Although Defleshed aren't as well known in the United States as they are overseas, the Swedish headbangers have enjoyed an enthusiastic cult following in Western Europe since the early '90s. The band's 14th anniversary came in 2005, and if Reclaim the Beat is any indication, time has not mellowed these thrash metal/death metal agitators -- not at all. Reclaim the Beat offers exactly what Defleshed fans expect from the Nordic outfit: blistering, high-speed, amphetamine-like brutality delivered without any mercy whatsoever. This 2005 release doesn't break any new ground for Defleshed, and it won't win any awards for variety. Every song is played at the same tempo: ultra-fast. While many Nordic death metal bands make a point of providing some breakdowns, Reclaim the Beat is relentlessly fast -- the speed never lets up -- and after the first few tracks, listeners have pretty much heard it all. But if Reclaim the Beat is -- except for an unlikely cover of Mötley Crüe's "Red Hot" -- highly predictable, it certainly isn't predictable in a dull or boring way. Defleshed are focused and inspired throughout the album; taking no prisoners, they bring plenty of conviction to skull-crushing tracks like "Bulldozed (Back to Basic)," "May the Flesh Be With You," and "Under Destruction." These are the type of tunes that could send a mosh pit into overdrive, which is exactly what Defleshed have been known to do on-stage. Reclaim the Beat is about exhilaration for the sake of exhilaration -- not musicality or craftsmanship, but pure, raw, unmitigated exhilaration. And despite the obvious limitations of the band's thrash/death formula, hardcore Defleshed fans will enjoy this sledgehammer of a CD.

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