Originally written by Jeremy Garner
Somehow, someway, despite the fact that this is the fifth release from Czech death metal heroes Fleshless, despite the fact that I own enough CD’s to become a record store I’d never run across any of their music, nor had I ever really run across anything quite like them
Many of the riffs aren’t what I’d consider conventional death metal. Like Chastisement, Fleshless play a strongly thrash influenced derivative of death metal that’s not all too common. On songs like “The Final Cut”, Fleshless trade from slow building but powerful chugging groove to full throttle melodic thrash influenced death without skipping a beat. “Contract of Blood” splices some of the slower melodic rhythm parts of bands like Malevolent Creation and Divine Empire with the rest of their expansive stylistic repertoire. They even manage to throw in a few surprising almost traditional metal touches like the guitar solo on “Ordo Verminosum”.
Vladimir’s vocals cover plenty of unconventional territory for this style of death metal. On “Lifedrain” he alters from full-throated death grind growls into incomprehensible squeals like Descend Into Nothingness, and to a lesser extent bands like Prostitute Disfigurement and Circle of Dead Children. Not nearly as brutal or visceral as many of their peers, Fleshless still have an uncanny knack for interjecting compelling break neck speed, head banging hooks and gut wrenching rhythm and stylistic variation throughout To Kill for Skin. “To Kill for Skin” impressively finishes the album off with Michal and Ludek’s trademark progression from slow building, powerful chugging groove to full throttle fist pounding melodic thrash influenced death without skipping a beat.
To Kill for Skin is a great break from the monotony of many death metal bands non-expansive one-dimensional attitudes. Despite the superb musicianship offered on the album, many of the songs come off as a formulaic blur after the first few initial shocks. The album doesn’t offer enough memorable moments to really captivate listeners with gripping intensity. Nonetheless Fleshless offer enough variety in their sound to stand out from the rest of the pack.