Label: Folter Records
Expectation is a very cruel and extremely fickle mistress. Sometimes, you pick up something completely foreign on a whim (in my instance it was initially because the cover art was so goddamn nice) and it turns out great. Then, other times, you pick up something because you want it to be good and it turns out to be utter shit.
And then sometimes, you get what you thought you would. This is one of those times.
Straight to brass tacks here: unless that cover didn’t give you a hint, Flykt is a black metal band. A Swedish black metal band, and if you are wondering why that is significant, here it is: Flykt’s blend of black metal includes a very healthy dose of Swedish death, in that both the production (see below) and the riffing gets its fair share of it.
Or, if that’s too abstract, let me put it this way: songwriting-wise, Flykt has three modes. Full-on black assault, slower black riffs and the occasional deathy moment. However, what they lack in variety, they make up for with superior axemanship. The individual riffs woven throughout the songs in Charnel Heart are all excellent. To add to this, the mood in the album is absolutely of the portends of doom variety, with a refined, gentlemanly but palpable darkness permeating throughout, the type that recalls Mayhem, for instance.
Apropos, there’s also no shortage of epic moments scattered throughout the album. The latter parts of The Great Assassination and As Hunters to Havoc (Diatribe) reach positively operatic heights with nothing more than the standard instruments and some very spot-on riffing. Hats off.
Now, if we were to get back to the whole Swedeath angle: the production on Charnel Heart is weird. It’s this odd combination of guitars that were given the death metal treatment, drums that were given the black metal treatment and a bass that fades in and out for some inexplicable reason. It’s not a winning combo with the drums sitting a bit too far back and the guitars becoming a blurry mess on the forefront. It’s not a complete mess like, say, the goddamn Misotheist album was, but it’s still not very good, especially since this can undermine the quality of the actual music.
Also, the hard panning of the cymbals to the left, as well as the decision to mix them in like they were set up two rooms over from the recording space was a terrible, terrible decision. Instead of a pleasant rhythmic element to balance out the low ends, they are a constant, frustrating distraction. It’s this thin, barely-audible chiming that’s way too far away to make any kind of logical sense. I have heard some pretty hard panning over the years, but goddamn.
If you were to put these aside, what’s left is the fact that black metal of this vein is somewhat played out at this point. I mean, sure, Flykt is no slouch and Charnel Heart is still a damn good album, but it’s not the new masterpiece of black metal and doesn’t really have much to add to the genre. That said, however, it is one wild ride and is highly enjoyable, so if you’re into these genres at all, then you will get a kick out of it.
Recommended for death metal and black metal fans primarily. Also recommended for those who want to broaden their horizons.
(there is no discernible line-up mentioned for the band)
01. Compendium of Sacrilege
02. The Great Assassination
03. As Hunters to Havoc (Diatribe)
04. The Great Collapse
06. Cadaver of Doubt
07. Sent to Destroy
08. Charnel Heart