The debut album Mock The Weak from Welsh metalers Fourth Autumn is like a stick of dynamite. The first listen maybe even the second is like a fuse, the album slowly burning giving glimpses and indications of intriguing things within without full revelation. Then all of a sudden another venture through it and the release explodes upon the senses, the understanding and discovery of the wealth of quality within steps forth from within the already satisfying aural devastation. Sometimes releases that take their time to work upon and form a connection are some of the most satisfying and this is certainly the case with Mock The Weak. It may not become an album destined to top favourite of the year lists but it is destined to be one that will receive frequent ongoing returns.
From Newport the quartet of Julian Cousins (vocals and guitar), Daniel Cousins (vocals and drums), Chris Phillips (bass), and Jason Robinson (guitar) have appeared from nowhere with this debut the first knowledge of their existence let alone how they sound. With Mock The Weak the band make up for lost time with a release that blisters and violates the senses, chewing up the ear with heavy insistent riffs, demanding rhythms, and an intrusive dual attack of scorched rasps and darker bestial guttural vocals from the two Cousins. Take a deliberate excursion beneath the self termed“… blackened death metal…” intensity the band conjures and there is a vein of creativity and varied ideas that almost too easily blend in and are veiled by the power they challenge the ear with. Once given the extra attention and focus the album shows the band to be stylish skilful musicians well crafted in their instruments and songwriting. With some bands a lightening of the bombardment to allow the melodic or creative elements to shine would be a positive but Fourth Autumn’s sound is a package, both elements as they currently are integral to the overall sound and it is up to us to make the extra effort not the band, and how rewarding that effort is.
Released via Rising Records on January 23rd Mock The Weak takes no prisoners as it tests and confronts far beyond the ear. From the opening collective blows from riffs and drums of opener ‘Rotting Hill’ the album demands and takes. The black metal type vocals are venomous and the pit spawn grunts brutal, the almost insidious impact taking a while to be freely let inside. This black/death metal approach though maybe not new is brought in a more impactful way than heard before. The track also reveals the imagination of the guitarists, the constant riffs added to by incisive rock inspired solos and offshoot directions that intrigue.
There is strong variety to the release too that keeps it more than interesting and as on ‘Mourning Wood’ where the harsh attack evolves into a progressive spiced display of emotive guitars and atmosphere it is not always veiled by the intense sonic assault. The band state the likes of Behemoth, The Black Dahlia Murder, and Cradle Of Filth as main influences and it is not hard to find obvious touches within tracks like the excellent ‘Don’t Stop Bereaving’ and ‘Divinity Defiled’ though the band use these flavours as strings to their own muscular bow.
There really is nothing about Mock The Weak that one could justifiably suggest needs changing or is a slight negative, with tracks like the crushing ‘A Door, A Table, A Fist’ and the rampaging ‘Son Of Apollyon’ leaving welcome deep marks long after their departure. Two tracks really capture the senses though to increase anticipation of future releases from the band even higher. ‘Rigor Mortis (Makes Me Stiff)’, yes who can hold back a chuckle as the bands obvious humour openly breaks free. The song strides boldly with unbridled belligerent riffs and chorus that is almost sing-a-long in its catchiness and addictive hook like delivery. As often glimpsed elsewhere there is a teasing lightness to it suggesting as serious as the band are musically and creatively they do not carry it to extremes about themselves. The song is the definite favourite though closely challenged by closing track ‘Sultans Of Swing’ and it’s stirring almost vibrant hostility veined by more hypnotic guitar play.
Fourth Autumn may be new to you but after listening to their excellent debut they will be long time friends.