Six albums in with the release of Synder and Swedish metallers Feared have uncaged a fury and voracity which not only confirms the band as one of the relatively unsung greats but has the listener smiling broadly as their soul is desecrated. Feared’s new album is a rousing, destructive beast of a proposition. It is an encounter which is not exactly menacing new boundaries within a thrash/death metal landscape but taking its already established template to dark and creatively ravenous depths which are as fresh as they are rabid. The band’s name describes exactly how their music should be contemplated with the ‘sins’ of Synder greedily devoured.
The story of Feared goes back to 2007, the project the creation of guitarist and producer Ola Englund (ex-Six Feet Under). Despite a potent start and a first demo in 2008, the band disbanded until two years later when things stirred again. Englund and vocalist Mario Ramos (Demonoid) released a self-titled debut album which swiftly earned support and acclaim from fans and media alike, a success built on the following year through second album Rejects. The 2011 encounter lit further focus upon the band which once more escalated as Furor Incarnatus in 2013 came out, though in turn a greater hungry appetite outside the band and striking creative energy within came with fifth album Vinter. The album followed a period which saw Englund also become the new guitarist of The Haunted and the addition of drummer Kevin Talley (Suffocation, ex-Dying Fetus, ex-Black Dahlia Murder) and ex-Clawfinger bassist Jocke Skog to Feared. The release revealed a new intensity and inventive tempest within the band’s songwriting and sound, a gateway to darker ferocious climates which has now been driven on and overshadowed by Synder. Produced by Englund and Skog it is the finest Feared assault yet, from the striking artwork of Sylvain Razorimages wrapping its hellacious roar to the furiously flavoured and diversely coloured adventure, it is an intensive examination and explosive incitement for ears and imagination.
The album’s title track opens things up, the brief instrumental an initial melodic caress of guitar courted by an ominous air which brews and expands as the track comes to rigorous life with thick rhythms and evocative sonic endeavour. It is not a startling start but a potent atmosphere setter, warming up ears and thoughts for the immediate ferocity of Your Demise. Riffs fling their spite at ears with rage and virulent animosity, their thrash breeding an instant gripping lure enhanced by the spicy grooving and thick throat shredding vocals of Ramos. Framing and igniting it all further, the growling grouchiness of Skog’s bass and the precise rabidity of Talley’s beats drive an anthemic urgency and contagion within the track, it all colluding for a breath-taking and thrilling full start to the album.
The impressive and riveting tempting continues in Of Iron And Ashes, the song equally uncompromising and carnivorous but quickly adding floating melodic clouds of keys to its turbulent canvas. Their presence and touch is minimal in the otherwise violent climate but cast an intrigue and unpredictability which eventually is realised in a calm, melodic eye of the storm moment. The volcanic heart and nature of the song is soon ravishing ears though as squirming grooves and tenacious riffery leads ears through a rhythmic jungle into the resourceful venomous grasp of Caligula. Again this song shows as those before it, that there is plenty involved in the thrash/death sound of Feared, here a groove/alternative metal weaving adding to an inventive theatre for a potent Bloodsimple like essence.
My Grief, My Sorrow follows suit in its own individual way, its heavier prowl and imposing intensity a predatory insistence on the senses. It’s stalking takes on even greater malevolence as rhythms make venomous jabs and stabs though the acidic grooving is a constant temper reining in the fury enough to allow mouth-watering melodies and sonic imagination to have their say. As its predecessor, the song takes the imagination on an enthralling ride whilst bruising and battering the body, a respite found straight after though in the classical elegance of the melancholic Dygder, another short and descriptive instrumental.
It leads thoughts and emotions in to the waiting ravenous jaws of By Silent Screaming, an immediately caustic and bracing tsunami of vitriolic energy and creative tenacity. Though never quite matching up to those around it, hail their torrents of riffs and beats, the song is the most exploratory on the album with changeable scenery of melodic endeavour and an almost psychotic air to its rhythmic and unpredictable imagination. It is a fascinating encounter revealing more about the intent of the band’s latest creative explorations with every listen.
The invigorating Wolf At The End Of The World has ears back in a bracing barrage of sonic and rhythmic raging next before My Own Redemption plunders even heavier, darker exploits. From the gut spilling tones of Ramos to the spidery grooves of Englund, the track bewitches as it chews up the senses. It is another stalking incitement but one with the raw heart of a predator and the inventive emprise of a troubadour, the vocals alone a union of bestial pestilence and melodic crooning. One excellent song is replaced by another as Dying Day explodes in ears with incendiary effect, grooves and hooks whipping up the imagination and vicious rhythms taking care of the body as Ramos spills rancor with every syllable.
War Feeding War keeps appetite and emotions inflamed next with its corrosive lures and fearsome persuasion whilst The Narcissist, with a disturbed and vehement web of sound and hostility, is an instantly enjoyable onslaught with plenty that escapes first attention but goes towards increasingly richer return listens. Both tracks involve the whole of the listener, though a point to offer for the whole of Synder to be fair in varying degrees. Some songs, like the first of these two, are more unbridled physical enticements whilst the latter, as also the closing Godless Devotion, provide dramatically deeper and longer to explore proposals.
All tracks though combine to provide the listener with a blistering protagonist to get excited about in Synder and confirm Feared as one of those bands many may have heard about but really should now be making the effort to dive deeply into.
Synder is available now via most online stores and @ http://www.fearedband.com/store-feared-synder
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