Flourishing’s The Sum Of All Fossils came in at No. 2 on my best-albums-of-2011 list, and I had this to say about it:
The New York City metal scene is populated by numerous bands with no apparent allegiance to genre, but few are quite as hard to pin down as Flourishing. The band’s debut LP, The Sum Of All Fossils, was brutal and delicate, grotesque and melodic, fast and slow and everything in between; the only constant elements were the thrills it provided. (Flourishing frontman, Garett Bussanick, also plays guitar in Wetnurse, perhaps the sole metal band in NYC with fewer musical boundaries.) Fossils was a blisteringly hot steel cauldron bubbling over with several decades’ (and countless subgenres’) worth of death metal, grind, and industrial, among other influences. But it somehow avoided sounding freakish or Frankensteinian. Er, that is to say it didn’t sound unnatural or patched together; it sounded plenty fucking monstrous.
It was intimated, however, that Fossils might be the end of Flourishing. Bussanick was concentrating on his studies, and the band wasn’t touring (or even playing locally) behind the album. On the brink of greatness, Flourishing went dark. I believed they were dead. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, several weeks ago, a new release was announced: the three-song Intersubjectivity EP. And even at its truncated length, it’s a beast. On Intersubjectivity, Flourishing are unusually imposing in size and volume, cold and hard as an abandoned Detroit auto plant; even the band’s most human element (Bussanick’s raw-throated howl) sounds like the combustion chamber of a jet engine or the test section of a wind tunnel. It’s a tense, punishing sound (the band most frequently associated with Flourishing is Godflesh, and I think that comparison is especially apt this time around), but that tension also feels like high-wire drama; the punishment is so relentless and vast that it takes on the ambient qualities of the urban landscape, in scope as well as detail, from rats crawling around subway tracks to cranes standing atop skyscrapers. It is a magnificent noise like New York City itself. Today, we’re streaming the EP’s centerpiece, “The Petrifaction Lottery.” Listen.
Flourishing’s Intersubjectivity EP is out 11/13 via The Path Less Traveled.