Born in Egypt and residing in New York, visual artist Nader Sadek has become a leading purveyor of extreme-metal imagery, creating backdrops, videos, installations, masks, and more, often for music-related purposes. Now he has called on many of his metal brethren to help create a collaborative concept album of pummeling death metal with black-metal undertones and brooding interludes.
Credited as a writer and producer, Sadek is the key creative component, but he doesn’t play the music. Instead, that’s left to a super-group trio of vocalist Steve Tucker, guitarist Rune Eriksen, and drummer Florent Mounier as well as a small army of high-profile guests, including Attila Csihar, Travis Ryan, Nick McMaster, Mike Lerner, and others. Musically, In the Flesh is a bombardment of speed picking, dive-bombing guitar leads, blazing double-bass beats, and deathly growls, but it always demonstrates a sense of balance, avoiding the listening fatigue that’s common to the genre.