FLYING "Graceful Murder"

Flyings fourth full length Graceful Murder first came out back in 2010 but was available only in the bands home country of Ukraine. Nearly two years later Total Metal Records and More Hate Productions have joined forces to give the album widespread distribution. If youre in the United States like I am, you may not have heard of this group before but theyve been creating melodic death metal for over a decade. This experience shows on Graceful Murder as the instrumentalists fly through eight tracks that maintain a fine line between the melodic and harsh elements of the genre. The instrumentals start off with some of the most aggressive riffs on the album, as opening track Progenitors roars out of the gate with heavy hitting grooves that have a slight thrash edge. From there Flying falls into a nice mixture of heavier moments and melodic leads that are sure to please fans of melodic death metal. The leads and solos in particular are able to consistently impress throughout the album, as the guitarists always seem to be focused on utilizing melody that will hook listeners and have them coming back to these tracks. In addition to this, while a lot of melodic death metal has become overly focused on repetitive verse/chorus structures Flying actually gives their guitarists a chance to play plenty of solos which helps to break up the songs nicely. Graceful Murder has been given a fairly polished production and mixing job and the sound quality is on par with some of the bigger names in the genre. Despite the bands melodic inclinations, the vocals on this album tend to be closer to traditional death metal as lead singer Victor Ozolin has a powerful growl. His performance is quite impressive as the growls are extremely deep and this is the type of pitch that I tend to really enjoy listening to. There are a few songs where Flying chooses to include clean vocals, and when this occurs the band lets the singing steal the spotlight. While this certainly makes sense considering that this genre has a tendency to lean towards a clean/harsh vocal split, the singing felt a little lacking in energy and didnt really grab me. As a result, the moments when this transition occurs dont stand out quite as much as the rest of the release. Im not crazy about the clean singing on Graceful Murder as it just doesnt have the same level of energy that the rest of the material does, but thankfully Flying chooses to focus on the harsher pitches for the majority of the songs. Aside from that issue this group has managed to write some melodic death metal that has some memorable riffs and fans of the style will want to give it a listen. Metal Archives seems to indicate the members may have gone their separate ways (and I cant seem to find confirmation on this anywhere else), but hopefully thats not the case as theres still room for Flying to grow and continue delivering hook driven metal.

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