Massachusetts based death metal force INNUMERABLE FORMS have completed their much anticipated devastating debut LP “Punishment In Flesh”. Formed in 2007 by mastermind Justin DeTore (Sumerlands, Magic Circle, Mind Eraser), a veteran of the Boston hardcore/power violence scene, as a solo project to bring forth a vision of doom-ridden, dark brutal death metal with the spirit of the early ‘90s. Since inception INNUMERABLE FORMS have already generated quite the cult following over the years with their live shows supporting a repertoire only consisting of the “Dark Worship” 7”EP, a split with Blessed Offal, and the “Frozen To Death” comp cassette. Now with “Punishment In Flesh”, INNUMERABLE FORMS will harness the authentic feeling of true death metal doom, darkness, and fury with total disregard for the scene today.
With DeTore pretty much handling mostly all instruments himself on previous INNUMERABLE FORMS recordings, “Punishment In Flesh” sees DeTore assemble a full band lineup. INNUMERABLE FORMS on “Punishment In Flesh” include DeTore (vocals/guitars), his co-writing partner/guitarist Jensen Ward (Iron Lung), guitarist Chris Ulsh (Mammoth Grinder, Power Trip), bassist Doug Cho (The Rival Mob), and drummer Connor Donnegan (Genocide Pact).
Our take: Debut full-length from this death metal project out of Boston. Justin DeTore from Mind Eraser / No Tolerance / a bunch of other bands helms the project (and played most of the instruments on their earlier releases), but for this release he’s put together a hardcore supergroup, including (according to the label’s description): “co-writing partner/guitarist Jensen Ward (Iron Lung), guitarist Chris Ulsh (Mammoth Grinder, Power Trip), bassist Doug Cho (The Rival Mob), and drummer Connor Donnegan (Genocide Pact).” I hadn’t checked out Innumerable Forms’ earlier releases, but that lineup grabbed my attention, since it brings together some of the best musicians in the current hardcore scene. For all the musical ability of that lineup, though, Punishment in Flesh is not a flashy record. There are few guitar solos on the record (though when they pop up they’re highlights), and while the band plays everything with precision and power, no one shows off. Instead, the energy here is put toward establishing the vibe. If I had to describe that vibe in a word, it is “punishing.” The tempos are rarely fast, and the slow parts are agonizingly slow and heavy (in a good way!), like trudging through knee-deep wet clay. DeTore’s vocals are the centerpiece, and they bring new meaning to the term "gutteral." Every death metal band has low vocals, but DeTore’s are on another level. If this whole music thing doesn’t work out for him, he could make a solid living voicing Satan in Hollywood movies. The record is brilliant and listening to it alone in the dark is a great way to spend 40 minutes of your time. If I may be so bold as to venture one criticism, though, it’s one I have of several projects that come from DeTore’s crew of Boston musicians: it’s almost too perfect. For instance, when I listen to the Demigod cassette that was one of the band’s key inspirations(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksdNoONKvlg), there’s an untamed quality, a visceral wildness that Innumerable Forms doesn’t have. I’d love to hear what this crew sounds like when they cut loose and throw out the rule book, but even if it's a hair stiff it’s still a great record.