Stalemate Flesh = Darkthrone (new) + The Misfits (old) + Dope
First impressions of this metal/punk duo from Salt Lake City should be shunned—Stalemate Flesh may have the tendency to scare listeners away. The tones on Freedom 2020 initially are in the one-note realm—the guitars don’t move far from their roots, nor do the vocals—but that’s the band’s point: They’re not trying to be dramatically proficient with their instruments. The punk rock vibe here is huge, especially on the first half of the album. Momentum shifts downward in terms of tempo, as anger morphs into sadness. Admittedly, I hated this initially, but it grew on me. To put it simply, Stalemate may sound a bit amateur in production and skill, but they make that up in droves with the obvious amount of effort put into the record. Bolster this sound up with some not-so-thin guitar sounds and you’ve got a breakout album.