Sydney’s Flaming Wrekage are one of those bands for whom the big time will never beckon. I say this because on their new album, the coruscating Cathedral of Bones, there is not one second of music that gives off even the merest hint of compromise. This is a supremely well drilled death squad, all parts moving in a Miltonian maelstrom of dissonant harmony. And it’s music that will never, ever, make it’s way into the mainstream.
Still, that’s a good thing, right? There’s plenty of ears still out here on the outer fringes to enjoy what these lads are serving up, and I’d think it would be pretty fair to say that a great many of those ears are going to be lapping up the Slayer-meets-Kreator mayhem of tracks like Hell To Pay…
The introductory chug of the album’s title track sums the band up as well as anything on the record; taut, economic, yet packing one hell of a punch, this is where thrash metal enters the arena of contact sport, with predictably bruising results for all concerned. Matt Thornton is what Joey DeMaio might term a ‘whirlwind of doom’ behind the kit, giving his calves an impressive workout throughout whilst never shying away from extreme blastbeat warfare with the other end of the body, and it’s his constant barrage that sets the standard for the rest of the band. Guitarists Dave Lupton and Justin Humphry use this percussive springboard to turn summersaults of their own – Humphry impresses repeatedly with his incisive, surgical leads whilst Lupton, who also barks and bellows, supplies the rifferama – with the result being a superbly put together whole that might lack in singular highlights but gives nothing away in terms of performance and sheer, visceral effect.
Closing track Sin Survives adds some fine mid-paced, heads down death metal of a Scandinavian persuasion to the mix, but whilst you do see the band’s influences bubbling up to the surface every now and then, it’s gratifying to report that, on this third full-length of their career, the band are carving their own sound very nicely. This album is well worth some of your time.
Cathedral of Bones releases on February 25th.