Gustaf Jorde: Vocals / Bass
Lars Löfven: Guitar
Matte Modin: Drums
From the mid-90s to 2005, Sweden's Defleshed churned out a white hot blend of thrash, death metal, and grindcore, marking themselves as one of the most vital bands in all three of those genres. Having run out of inspiration and wanting to try other things they called it a day the same year they released their fifth album Reclaim The Beat, and ever since fans have hollered for their reunion. In 2021 they got what they were asking for when the band's core lineup - guitarist Lars Löfven, drummer Matte Modin and bassist/vocalist Gustaf Jorde - got back together. "We just wanted to record a couple of songs to include in a vinyl box set," explains Jorde. "The songs turned out good and the process was satisfying so we decided to have a go on a full-length." The result is the corrosive Grind Over Matter, 11 blistering songs packed into 34 minutes, not only proving that the band still have what it takes but that they are playing at the absolute top of their game.
With the vinyl box set not happening, the two songs the band initially recorded were released as the Fleshless And Wild single. Says Jorde, "At that time we had made up our minds on a continuation, so that release was kind of a gift to everyone who has encouraged us to get back together through all these years." None of the members took any convincing to reform or to push ahead with the full-length, starting to seriously write in Autumn 2021, and there was no masterplan guiding them. "We just wanted to see what we sounded like today, with new perspectives on things. We knew it had to be fast and furious yet diverse." The result is an album "filled to its maximum with power and energy", this made clear by opener "Bent Out Of Shape", which is perhaps the greatest start to any of their records. They do not take it easy on the listener from there on, with the likes of the thrashy "Dear Devil" and groove-laden "Unburdened By Genius" taking very different tactics in the damage they wreak, the band making a point of not repeating themselves while staying true to that classic Defleshed sound.
The title an obvious play on the term 'Mind Over Matter', Jorde is coming from a different place lyrically than fans are used to. "This time around traditional murder, war, and gore lyrics didn't come to me. So I wrote from a viewing perspective, beholding the world and man's influence on the same." This manifests itself in a variety of ways, "Bent Out Of Shape" standing as "an illustration of how everything is standardized and mainstreamed to enable mass production and economic growth, leaving nothing left to be organic, wild and vivid", while "One Grave To Fit Them All" is "a tale of a man who hates and kills everyone who differs from himself, resulting in sitting alone on the throne with no one left to hate." Then there is "Dear Devil", which is about "a wish - and demand - list written as a letter to The Underworld by a narcissist who arrogantly enough believes such a letter will be respected," Jorde always writing insightfully, giving the listener something to think about.
The album was tracked at Rorysound Studios, Uppsala, Sweden, with Lawrence Mackrory, with two weeks devoted to drums, another two for guitar and bass and two three-day sessions for vocals. "It was pretty straightforward, the hardest part was to not get carried away by impulsive ideas too much, but stay put to the original plan," says Jorde. Additional vocals on "Heavy Haul" and closer "Last Nail In The Coffin" come courtesy of the band F.K.Ü, who are also Uppsala natives, adding an extra dimension to the songs, the rest of the album strictly the work of the three band members.
There are plans to play shows in support of the record, though whether this will mean actual touring is not yet established. Asking Jorde if the fires still burn as hot after a 17-year break, he answers plainly. "Definitely hotter than 17 years ago, as we then disbanded for the opposite reason. But everyone has their lives and obligations so the band can only be a part-time thing - and the good thing with that is that on those occasions everyone is inspired." And given the inspiration on display with Grind Over Matter it is a very good time to be a Defleshed fan, old or new.