Fenrir – The Rise

Fenrir _RingMaster Review

The Rise is one of those releases which make a strong and enjoyable first impression but it is over time where the realisation of just how good and full it really is emerges. The new EP from British alternative rockers Fenrir is a quickly rousing and lively stomp which just grows in stature the more attention it is given. It is potent evidence of the growth and maturity which has blossomed in the band’s sound since the release of its predecessor two years ago. Their sound is still not the finished article we would suggest, but with similar steps ahead, the Ipswich hailing quintet is looking at very healthy creative horizons ahead hopefully matched by success.

Comparisons to the likes of Mallory Knox, Alexisonfire, and Fall Out Boy have often been offered for Fenrir via their explosive live presence and releases, easy to understand suggestions though fair to say The Rise reveals that an even more individual character to the band’s sound is emerging. Previous singles like Flash Fires, Confessions, and Ruins have alone been stirring up support from the likes of BBC Introducing, whilst the full UK tour Fenrir has just completed reinforced the band as one of Britain’s most voracious and dynamic live acts. They have yet to find the key to unlocking thick national awareness though, something The Rise may or may not prove to be but if the former, there is no doubting it will give the UK rock scene a hefty nudge with its impressive progression of the band’s songwriting and sound; the words of guitarist Mike Cockayne echoing that, “More than anything it’s more refined than our older songs and it really shows what we’re all about.

The Rise _RingMaster Review     The release opens with Tell My Wife I Said ‘Hello’ and an instant surge of guitar enterprise and heftily impacting beats from drummer Ben Brennan. Settling down a touch for the quickly enticing voice of Ben Slater, a sneaky dark and alluring bassline slipping in alongside him, the song is soon spinning a web of guitar enterprise from Cockayne and Krishan Alwis around the increasingly brooding and irresistible bait of bassist Lewis Rudkin. The vocals get stronger and more impressive with every passing verse and chorus, Slater’s voice potently backed by the strong tones of Cockayne, whilst the track itself just grows more anthemic and virulently persuasion to provide an enjoyably bracing and skilful start to the EP.

Its mighty lure is backed up by the following roar of Bones, a song alive with blazing guitars and rhythmic strength around impassioned vocals. At two and a half minutes the track is a turbulent spark for ears and imagination but niggles a touch when it brings out a glorious infection clad hook to lick lips over and then swiftly comes to an end. That frustration is soon forgotten though once Hurt Hands lays its melodic charm and tenacious adventure on ears. Again energy and emotive intensity ebbs and flows with an imagination to match that of the craft and the contagious heart of band and song respectively. Unpredictability is also a rich spice to the track, moments of calm alive with intrigue and bold adventure whilst emotion just oozes from its more incendiary expulsions of sound and intensity. Fair to say the track steals the show, even outshining the impressive opener.

A melodic kiss is provided by brief instrumental Einn, more evidence, as if it was needed, of the skills of the band and the variety in their composing, before Smoke Signals intensely smoulders and bellows to keep a greedy appetite happy. In some ways the song and subsequently its successor lack the same spark of the earlier tracks, bringing less uniqueness to their proposals, but it and the gentler and captivating, but no less impassioned Victory Rose II, only reinforces the potency of a thoroughly enjoyable encounter. Each show that the band is right on course to be that something which is distinct from the crowd and with tracks like Tell My Wife I Said ‘Hello’ and Hurt Hands sooner rather than later.

As suggested earlier, The Rise requires maybe a touch more time than others to become the forceful pleasure it certainly is but give it that and Fenrir rewards with one consistently appetising and enjoyable adventure we can only recommend you go take a listen to.

The Rise EP is available now at the Fenrir Bandcamp profile.

Pete RingMaster 22/09/2015

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