Nader Sadek - Living Flesh

Posted on Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Nader Sadek is a perplexing entity. A Death Metal supergroup assembled and orchestrated by Mayhem’s fluffer to preach the evils of the petroleum industry. One full-length into their career, and already a live recording of that debut in its entirety. I must admit, I’m not sure if I’m the right man for the task at hand here. I regret to inform you that I’ve yet to hear 2011’s In the Flesh. However, Living Flesh has been reported to be an even more potent listening experience, the live environment capturing the band’s feverish ferocity in a far less confining manner than the studio walls. Well, if that truly is the case, I’m fortunate I didn’t waste my time, because this is borderline unlistenable. I certainly went in wanting to like it. I like the idea of Steve Tucker (ex-Morbid Angel) on vocals, I like the idea of Novy Nowak (ex-Vader/Behemoth) on bass, and I sure as hell like the idea of Flo Mounier (Cryptopsy) on drums. Yet somehow I don’t like this at all. One definitely can’t blame the sound quality. Captured in late 2011 at a Manhattan venue, Living Flesh has an airtight organic mix as far as live albums go. It’s the material that’s at fault. Brutal enough, and with virtuoso musicianship at every base, but it’s avantgarde to the point of feeling improvised. Of course, this impromptu feel does benefit Mounier at times. His stickmanship and footwork dazzle at any pace, the snare drum in particularly ear-popping form that evening. But aside from his jaw-dropping drum solo (“Rusted Skin”), the haunting soprano of Ava Inferi’s Carmen Simoes on intro “Re:awakening,” and the bleak melodic chill of instrumental/second intro “Nigredo in Necromance,” this is quite a chore to sit through. It would seem Steve Tucker had an off night. I only say that because I witnessed him 100%-on-top-of-his-game firsthand fronting Morbid Angel around the turn of the millennium. He sounds far less barbaric here, and it only gets shakier as the night progresses. Perhaps guitarist Rune Eriksen deserves some of the blame as well. Aura Noir have yet to come up with a riff that isn’t instantly forgettable, so why would his side gig be any different? Then again, doesn’t Sadek write all the music? Or does he just handle environmental lyric duties? More power to him, but ironically I’d have to be huffing gas to enjoy wall-of-unmemorable-noise racket like “Sulffer,” “Mechanic Idolatry,” and the aptly-titled “Soulless.”

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