Project: Failing Flesh - A Beautiful Sickness
Experimental Thrash/Modern Metal
10 songs (40'35")
Release year: 2005
Project: Failing Flesh, Candlelight
Reviewed by Alex

There are records where no matter how many times you have listened to them you have little concrete idea of what is going on. How it all came together, the style of music the band plays remain big unknowns. A Beautiful Sickness by Project: Failing Flesh is one such album for me. I am sure you will read multiple reviews with some writer smarter than me deciphering it all to pieces. I would not even try, yet the album, at least some of its tracks, pulls my inner listening psyche into one big magnetic suction funnel. I can’t explain it, but I am drawn to it like a moth to fire, and I can’t even stand some other parts of A Beautiful Sickness.

Project: Failing Flesh brought together vocalist Eric Forrest, a former Voivod singer, who survived a horrific car accident, Tim Gutierrez (E-Force) and Kevin 131 as multi-instrumentalists. Between the two of them Tim and Kevin handle guitars, some bass, electronic elements and probably the drums (the album notes don’t mention it, but it does not appear to be a drum machine).

I know I have said this phrase before in my reviews that “describing the genre So-and-So play in is a futile attempt”. I really should have waited until A Beautiful Sickness came along. The players in the Project purposefully don’t concern themselves with the genre definition. Instead, as mad scientists, they concocted the potion even parts modern, extreme and psychotic. The opener title track begins with the Arch Enemy riff, veers off into the thrash and concludes the mix with blastbeat driven metal where synthetic sounding keyboard creates an unsettling effect. Such creepiness flows further into Planet Dead with cello, of all things, along with same spine-chilling keyboards going on a 1.5 min intro. Purest excellent thrash which follows is almost a relief from this unnatural horror movie soundtrack. I could use this description for 9mm Movie as well, and, believe it or not, I formed this picture in my head before I even read the track’s title. Another dose of cello, alternating screams and clean vocals, layered lead guitars is what makes Planet Dead and 9 mm Movie the most provocative strongest tracks on the album. With these tracks, and later on with Dementia Pugulistica and Taste of the Lie, I felt that am listening to, of all things some weird King Diamond lost tracks, thrashier, heavier and not a trace of falsetto in the vocals. Even when techno/industrial elements are brought in on Taste of the Lie, the music remains twisted, building up pressure and playing with the listener’s mind.

I guess it was impossible to maintain this psychotic atmosphere for 9 out of 9 tracks, thus other songs on the album focused on modern heavy rumbling chugs, some electronic sound-offs with Eric belting out hardcore screams (Scene of the Crime, Entrance Wound, Long Silent Voices). The latter tracks resonated less with me, even though Long Silent Voices attempts to bring in some Swedish thrash and low register piano orchestration into the mix. Don’t fit you say? Highwire Act starts out as blastbeat/tremolo black metal and only then shifts to this modern hardcore tinged heavy chord based cocktail. How is that for non-fitting pats? Nothing with Project: Failing Flesh sounds ordinary, all metal “standards” are being blown to pieces, including severely altered cover of Venom’s Warhead.

A Beautiful Sickness is a highly unusual album, something bound to produce a love-hate relationship, and I predict it would not just be with an album as a whole, but with separate tracks as well. Just take me, for example, I listen to the first three only to skip all the way to Taste of the Lie after 9 mm Movie is over. Last piece of advice – don’t pay any attention to what any reviewer says, get a taste and form your own opinion. It is that different.

Killing Songs :
A Beautiful Sickness, Planet Dead, 9 mm Movie, Taste of the Lie
Alex quoted 71 / 100
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There are 3 replies to this review. Last one on Thu May 05, 2005 4:10 am
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