Flourishing – The Sum of All Fossils

Wetnurse guitarist Garett Bussanick has a new project, Flourishing, which is putting out their first full-length album, The Sum of All Fossils. Like his other project, Flourishing defies any significant musical conventions. The NYC trio starts out with a death metal/grindcore base and then puts it in time-out, letting the big-boy melodies have a little playtime. While their debut EP, A Momentary Sense of the Immediate World, let the former take up more space, The Sum of All Fossils stays afloat with enormous amounts of creative songwriting.

This is a challenging album, not only because of the obscene levels of noise, but also due to the band?s inability to function on a simplistic plane. When there aren?t technical rhythm breakdowns, there?s layers of instruments working against each other. A typical Flourishing song has drums blasting for minutes, while a guitar track follows along, and another guitar track is softly playing in the background. Don?t forget about the bass, which plucks away with heavy distortion like a manic Ministry tune.

Just when the ears get used to such traumatic music, clean shouting and subdued guitars interrupt  to send the mind into a tailspin. ?By Which We?re Cemented? and closer ?As If Bathed In Excellence? are a quaint duo that work to throw the album into a whirlpool. Without these well-rounded breaks in action, which are also seen throughout the rest of the eight songs, The Sum of All Fossils would be just a mess of disjointed riffs and harsh growls/screaming.

There is a strong sense of atmosphere and tension swept onto the album. This is not done by an overuse of keyboards or random industrial/machine samples. It?s conducted by Bussanick using his guitar as an extension of building up the uneasy feelings felt at select moments. The best of his work is on ?Momentary Senses,? with a long intro made up of rattling percussion and unsettling guitars. However, if a straightforward heavy tune is what one desires, then ?Summary? will fulfill the angry music quota.

The Sum of All Fossils may appear to be a linear, rather predictable mix of roaring death metal and loose grindcore in the early minutes of ?A Thimble?s Worth.? However, the mid-paced breakdown with a catchy bass line halfway through the track is the first indication that things aren?t what they appear to be. The album is not what one would call ?friendly on the ears.? One song is all it will take to determine if The Sum of All Fossils is a suitable way to spend 40 minutes of the day. The answers will be mixed, but Flourishing requires devotion and an ability to be open-minded, and those two qualities make this album something worth tuning into.

Rating: 7/10
Label: The Path Less Traveled Records
Website
: http://www.myspace.com/flourishing

By Dan Marsicano

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