Flesh Engine are a band hailing from Philadelphia who last year released their debut album entitled “Waking The Aether” This album is one thing and that is a giant slab of originality. Flesh Engine have delivered an album that is indeed unique, this due to the fact that “Waking The Aether” is a concept album that focuses on mythology, the apocalypse and the collapse of the human race brought on by nuclear war. Although unique this is a challenging topic for a concept album that even King Diamond may have a hard time pulling off. There are moments in the albums story where the listener can become confused, parts of the album had me thinking the band was talking about the modern world more then mythology. Whether this is what the band intended to accomplish is a mystery to me but despite my confusion it is something that I enjoyed because the album gained new relevance especially in these times when the threat of nuclear extinction is something that is in the back of everyones mind.
Although I was confused with some parts of the story the band really makes up for things with their unique and diverse style of thrash metal, you see Flesh Engine is made up a group of musicians who love the entire genre of heavy metal but in the end their love for thrash is what shines through the most. Throughout “Waking The Aether” features some really killer thrash riffs that had me both head banging and taping my foot simultaneously, a task not easily achieved. I loved just about every track on this album and “March Until Dawn” as well as “Death Of A God” are some real ragers capable of starting up a violent mosh at any time. However I feel the band really loses momentum with the tracks “The Art Of Concepts” “Depths Of The Soul” “Prophecy” and “Divine Empathy.” Although these four tracks are essential to the albums story the almost creepy distorted voice really takes away from the energy of the album, but once more these four tracks can easily be forgiven once the bands killer music starts up.
Through and through this is one hell of an album and despite the few flaws it may contain they can easily be overlooked. For most people it would be easy to despise this album due to its story, but with music this good it’s something that would be difficult to do. Simply put mythology is not an easy topic to tackle especially in a concept album, but it’s something this group of musicians took on in their debut album. For this Flesh Engine should be commended not only for their bravery to tackle such a difficult concept but for their willingness to do it just a few years into their career. Despite everything Flesh Engine need to be a band on every thrash metal fans radar and if this band continues producing music like this soon enough they will be on every metal heads radar.