The Artisan Era seems to be an ever-growing record label in the past couple of […]
By Liam Easley
June 16, 2019
Flub - Flub album cover

The Artisan Era seems to be an ever-growing record label in the past couple of years, snatching up small, underground bands and blasting them into the top tier of underground Technical Death Metal. Their latest project is FLUB, a band from California consisting of members of ALTERBEAST, RIVERS OF NIHIL and VALE OF PNATH. They recently released their debut, self-titled full-length. Despite its very short run time of only 27 minutes, "Flub" delivers notes upon notes in layered compositions that are very complex. Sounding like ALTERBEAST with Progressive Death Metal influences as well as orchestration (so, basically FALLUJAH), this album represents the feral yet sophisticated attitude of modern west coast Technical Death Metal.

This band - a band called FLUB, mind you - never crossed my radar until they dropped their first single, "Wild Smoke". People were slowly starting to eat the single up, but it was not a very fast response. The band's name is a very quirky word that can cause some to look away, and if these guys weren't on The Artisan Era's roster, this release probably would not have had the success it's been having. However, when I ended up listening to it because of all the chatter it had started, I was surprised to hear the vast and winding technical wizardry that I heard. The riffs are all perfect, the composition and structure are both impeccable and the song's flow is unstoppable. The rest of the album quickly followed a similar pattern.

With a lineup of reputably talented musicians, this short album is crushing. It's like INFERI with progressive influences or INANIMATE EXISTENCE if they actually knew how to write good music. There is atmosphere on songs like "Umbra Mortis" and "Rebirth" that make reappearances throughout the songs, giving the album a whole new dimension, not that it needed yet another aspect to it. It is, however, very welcome.

With the atmosphere spread evenly throughout the album, it makes for a better listening experience as well. The album is structured very nicely, with a strong opening track and an epic closing track. There is not one moment where the album gets dull. The debut album from FLUB is an impressive piece of Technical Progressive Death Metal. Being signed to a prestigious label, the production is very polished, which is good especially for this sound. This is a refreshing rake on a genre that can oftentimes be watered down.

10 / 10









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"Flub" Track-listing:

1. Last Breath
2. Blossom
3. Umbra Mortis
4. Dream
5. Rise from Your Grave
6. Rebirth
7. Wild Smoke

Flub Lineup:

Jared Klein - Drums
Eloy Montes - Guitars
Michael Alvarez - Vocals
Matthew Mudd - Bass

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