Rigor Mortis previews “Flesh for Flies” from final album Slave to the Grave

by Brett Stevens
August 12, 2014 –

rigor_mortis-slaves_to_the_grave

Before the untimely passing of Rigor Mortis guitarist Mike Scaccia, the band recorded what will become its final album. Featuring the same lineup as 1980s Rigor Mortis, Slaves to the Grave emphasizes the unique approach of this groundbreaking speed/death metal band as rendered with contemporary production.

To spur interest in the album, Rigor Mortis released a preview track entitled “Flesh for Flies” which demonstrates the new style. The same frenetic high-speed rhythm guitar makes its presence known, but with more of the melodic depth seen on later Rigor Mortis works like Freaks and Rigor Mortis vs. The Earth. Bruce Corbitt elevates his frantic vocals with death metal technique mixed in with his urgent shouts, and provides the kind of engaging rhythmic chorus that will ensnare any metalhead with a love for 1980s style speed metal. In addition, Scaccia injects a solo that attacks with a blitzkrieg undulation of notes that creates a texture from which a melody slowly arises. Gone are the longer song structures of Freaks, replaced by a verse-chorus approach that hammers home the powerful transition between the more death metal verse riff and the elegant melody of the chorus.

The song consciously targets the self-titled Rigor Mortis album that floored the metal community with its gore lyrics but powerful instrumentalism and abundant energy. For those who are looking for a re-creation of that first album, Slaves to the Grave looks to be both in that vein and enhanced with the more immediately impacting approach that band members picked up from subsequent projects. The strength of this track comes from its simplicity and directness which allows its viral payload to intrude directly in the consciousness of the listener, leading wayward brains to a dark and morbid place undergirded with the trademark Rigor Mortis absurdism and musicality.

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14 comments

  • Lord Mosher

    Boy do I love this style of music; the speed-death metal sound of the middle 80s! This particular hybrid is just so much fun. I guess here is where you can hear how Slayer had a deep impact on every metal artist back in the days when proto death and black metal were just getting started.
    Anybody remembers Canadian band Razor? Here’s a cool interview where they admit it was because they used to hang out with Slayer that their music took a more extreme flavor:
    http://axisofmetal.com/2013/03/razor-the-axis-of-metal-interview-part-one/

  • trystero

    I was kind of excited when I heard this track, but also disapointed. The disappointment stems from the fact the this is about the equivalent of one of the songs on vs. the Earth mashed together with S/T (sort of like a shitty Contagious Contamination or Mummified). It remains heads and shoulders above its colleagues in metal at the moment, but it is not a first rate performance from these first rate performers.

    Scaccia is… not brilliant, as is clearly audible for any to hear. There yet remains a spark of the band as they talk about the topics that they are most familiar with. It hasnt turned into a cliche yet, and since its better than the `fun` vs. the Earth that sort of lessens any disappointed.

    Why am I excited? Scaccias skills only improved over the three RM albums that exist. Listen to MUMMIFIED. Listen to that man, its a plain RM song, but Scaccia`s scatterburst of pure beauty in thi song is his peak artistically… if only for seconds.

    So being a `fan`, I am excited for maybe a few seconds like the above. Lastly, a big fuck you to Al Jorguensen or however you spell his name for being Scaccia`s junkie bro. Sure you were bros dude, bros you RUINED each other. Al was the big bro, Mike suffered way more imo; though both of them eventually crawled out of their various holes. I am being a bit abstract about the above as it can easily be googled in interviews and would take up too much time to explain.

    This is not a new style, this is the oldest Rigor Mortis style, one you will even find on Freaks (or not so much, but its not like `longer song structures` helped that EP, brilliant as it was) and definitely on S/T.

    1. trystero

      Freaks was an experiment, and perhaps a mistake, because probably the RM type of extremity lay in the RiB direction of microsongs. That is how I feel they should have developed.

  • Bruce Corbitt

    Tyresto… why don’t you wait and hear the entire album before you do these “in-your-mind”Rigor Mortis expert ramblings about our band? If you think every song is like this on the new album…. well you are wrong. Honestly I wish all the songs were like the first album… because that’s the album I was on. That is also the “best’ album to 92% of all Rigor Mortis fans. The album that gets into metal album Hall Of Fames and ‘best of’ list.

    You are the other band members may wanna point out how great the other albums as far as production sound and writing changes. But it’s not what the majority of Rigor Mortis fans want this new album to be like. This first song released is actually one a few moments on the new album that will remind people of the first album. The rest of the album is a totally different style… even though you can still tell that its Rigor Mortis.

    I guess I’m saying don’t be so quick to judge the direction of an entire album by hearing just one song.

    1. Brett Stevens Post author

      This first song released is actually one a few moments on the new album that will remind people of the first album.

      That’s a very interesting tidbit. Thanks for posting that. Am I correct in thinking that there’s a little more “death metal” in your vocals this time around?

      An album that combined the peaks of the three Rigor Mortis albums would be a great thing. While Rigor Mortis vs. The Earth is often vilified, it did show a proficiency for melody that had great potential, and similarly Freaks got into the type of riff-puzzle structure that made death metal so great. Combine that with the energy and sense of whole being of the first album and it would be formidable.

      1. 1349

        An optimistic Soviet andrologist:
        – Doctor, my dick doesn’t stand!!! (i.e. doesn’t erect).
        – But look how beautifully it hangs!

  • Bruce Corbitt

    No I wouldn’t say there’s any death metal type vocals at all in my vocals this time around… or in anything I’ve ever done since then. I just got more powerful and confident than I was when I was 25. My voice has also matured, aged and gotten more raspy. Sure, I can still sing like I did on the first album… but that means holding back, it almost feels like I’m not even putting any effort into it if I sing like I did on first album.

    To me, I know I’ve improved and gotten stronger as a singer. Some fans may prefer that wimpier, less aggressive style that I had back then. I still have my same tones that makes it sound like me…. and I don’t do deep, incomprehensible vocals like most death metal singers do. I think you can still understand most of the lyrics I hope?

    So the last thing I would say is that I’m doing anything close to death metal vocals. The lyric subjects is the only death part to my vocals. It’s pure old-school thrash style vocals. I don’t sound like other thrash singers… we all have a unique style. But, most people can’t tell the difference in death metal singers.

    I also want to make it clear that none of that is meant to say anything bad against death metal vocals, singers or death metal bands. I like death metal myself… but it’s ten-times more evil to me to make the lyrics understandable… EVIL THRASH STYLE!

  • Bruce Corbitt

    I also have to correct you on the comment that we intended this to be our final album when we recorded it. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact we were already talking about recording another album and touring as much as possible.

    The band was getting along better than ever… and we had set our sights high on doing it the way we should have done it back in the 80s. The night Mike died we got to play some of these new songs for the first time. Never have I felt the excitement reach this high of peak at ANY Rigor Mortis show in our history. I mean we were FINALLY playing some new songs after over 20 years. It felt incredible… we were not an old band living off our past anymore.

    The crowd was just as excited and receptive to our new material…. everyone there including us knew this was the new beginning for Rigor Mortis.

    Then as you know it went from the greatest night of my life celebrating my 50th Birthday and doing new Rigor Mortis songs… to the worst night… in an instant. We were playing a new song Blood Bath when it happened. There is a part in Mike’s greatest guitar solo ever at the end of that song on this new album…. where it changes to this higher pitched tone that makes me cry instantly every time I hear it.

    No this was never intended to be the end or final album. We were just getting our feet wet again… Sadly the best of Rigor Mortis would have been what happened after the album. I have no doubts the next albums would have been even better.

    So

    1. Brett Stevens Post author

      I can imagine it was beyond devastating for this to happen. Not only to lose a friend, but to lose someone with whom you can make great music, whose joy was clearly found in that music.

      I’ll correct the bit about the last album. I often mung these binaries. I think this one is going to be a major part of metal in 2014.

      Interesting about the death vocals. They sound deathier, which I think is a welcome change, but if it’s merely vocal power carrying them forward, then that will work as well.

      I look forward to the album. Rigor Mortis has never gone wrong, although your vocals were missed after the first album!

  • Christian

    I was searching for info regarding the new Rigor Mortis’ album and I got here. Sadly, I had to read Trystero’s comments which, in my modest opinion, are quiet negative and I do not really understand why. I am 40 and know the history of the band, but there are a lot of kids out there, who have never heard about Rigor Mortis because they just belong to new generations. Essentially, it is unfair for the band if those kids read comments like yours, Trystero. More specifically, when you say “Scaccia is…not brilliant”.

    What is actually the point of saying that? If you are indeed a fan, I want to think that with “is… not brilliant”, you meant that you recognise that Mike made at least a good job. On the contrary, you would have said that his job was terrible, right? But for those who do not know the band, your comments can clearly be misunderstood. So, if after 25 years the original line-up is delighting us with a new album, and considering that “Flesh For Flies” is a fantastic teaser, don’t you think that your comment is a bit out of context? Have you really listened to that frenetic guitar solo?

    Sadly, Mike isn’t “physically” with us anymore, but when I listen to those raving-mad 35 seconds of solo making his guitar sound like a furious bumblebee, I couldn’t be happier, because I realise that he did not leave and he will ever be remembered. Isn’t that brilliant? YES, IT IS, IT’S FUCKING BRILLIANT. You as a fan, don’t you feel the same?

    Anyway, the fact that the band is giving us one more last album is totally brilliant. Who actually cares if Mike’s tunes for the first track revealed are brilliant, excellent, or good? They clearly reflect a unique “Rigor Mortis” style, and that is exactly what we (or the majority of the fans) want to (actually, your comments are the first negative words I have read). We are getting a high-speed “evil” metal discharge after 25 years of recess. Rigor Mortis is not a band of Power Metal that takes every funking song to purity until reaching the point of vomitive perfection. Fortunately, Rigor Mortis is wild, savage, and pure gore. “Flesh For Flies” is exactly that TOO!!!

    Every single band has influences, and Rigor Mortis is not the exception, of course. But when I listen to Rigor Mortis no other fucking band comes to my mind. They clearly defined their own style which is undoubtedly part of this new song, and I even dare to say that STTG will let us all happy and crying for more. Unfortunately, there will not be more albums in the future, but I just have the sense that “the best of Rigor Mortis was just about to come”, as Bruce said. In any case, I truly believe that this new album will show a great evolution of the band, and that evolution and their own style make them unique.

    There are many bands that had glorious times in the 80’s but they are yet stealing money with new material that is rubbish. However, there are not many bands that release great albums nowadays which are better or as good as their classics: let’s say Kreator (all their albums after 2K are amazing); the last albums of Unleashed are much better than the ones released in their beginnings. And what about Rigor Mortis? Well, after listening to “Flesh For Flies”, I just can expect a great album!!! That is why I do not understand how Trystero can be so negative.

    In addition, if Rigor Mortis together with their fans are funding the release, but the fans are getting perks in return for their contributions, it is obvious that the band is not doing this for money (they might not even get any profit). So to me, it is clear that the band has something really good to share and that is the only intention of this new (and sadly last) record. Making this release possible is one of the best tributes to Mike, and I feel so fucking proud to be a tiny part of it.

    I cannot wait for “Blood Bath” to share feelings with Bruce.

    Christian

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