Joining the Source Atone Records family, French crust grind quartet Feral have just unleashed their second album, and if staring in the face of a raging hellhound is your kind of bliss than Spiritual void is for you. The twelve track beast is a tornado of aggression and a tirade of emotional fury, a punk and metal induced incursion which once we gripped our physical surroundings to keep us upright we increasingly devoured.
Hailing from Southern France and not to be confused with a host of similarly named bands around the globe Feral emerged around 2013 creating their own tempest of grind crust and punk for fun. The release of their first demo, the Forever peels out of the grave EP on Basement Apes Industries inspired a more serious approach to their music for the band with the well-received release of debut album, Doomwalk in 2016 the next major step in their breakout as well as subsequent tours in support and headlining around the world. Last year the band recorded Spiritual void and now is let loose from its chains to savage and arouse those with like-minded appetites and furies in equal measure.
Certainly Spiritual void is an uneasy listen but from its first breath a compelling and as we said increasingly addictive one. Its breath is vicious, intent merciless with a sound just as bloodthirsty as it sonically and emotionally strips body and psyche of their safety nets yet it is also one deceitfully virulent invasion, grooves and riffs a harrying contagion transgressed by rhythmic ferocity and vocal rage. It is a combination which from the moment Watchdogs, after the disturbing and ominous opening Solitude, had us reeling and grinning. It is a barbarous trespass of sound and enmity, a crushing force of resentment with an underlying groove that nags away in the torrential onslaught.
And that is a template which Feral twist and violate thereon in; the likes of Ghost walker with its hellacious almost blackened ravening offering an infernal barrage of sonic anger whilst swinging its open attributes like weapons with Six feet of dirt burying the senses in a deluge of crust thick punk metal hardcore thereafter. It is animal which reveals its own beast inside, the delicious carnal tone and snarl of the bass which consistently sparked our instincts throughout the release but becomes a true predator within the track.
The punishment and compulsion to dig deeper never lessens as both Death stranding and Dustbound ravage ears with bracing individuality but united irritability and vindictive dexterity while Eyes painted on the cross as it prowls the listener before swinging its claws at the senses ignited further intrigue, it’s more considered dynamics and ingredients of enterprise compelling.
Of course certain tracks inflamed our passion more than others and none as potently as the thrash kilned Real wars, another predator of sound and mentality which stalks its victim throughout its short but additive time though immediately The great reset held matching court with its death coated, punk forged, groove metal tempest.
If not quite scaling the heights as the pair but certainly burrowing as corrosively deeply, the closing trio of Cloud chamber, Pools of blood, and closing piece Isolation bring Spiritual void to a blisteringly fine close. Through the rancorously striding first and its sonically and emotionally psychotic successor, band and release only strengthened their reward bearing violation of attention with the latter of the three returning the listener’s limp body to the even more soulless limbo which brought the jaws of the album to them at the start.
A record which manages to leave you emotional drained even empty to some degree and also truly alive, Spiritual void is a must exploration for extreme punk and metal fans. Yes it took time for us to fully embrace its whole but the cathartic rewards which came with that were well worth the corrosion.
Spiritual void is out now digitally, on vinyl and CD via Source Atone Records and available on cassette through Basement Apes Records with streaming @ https://basementapesind.bandcamp.com/album/spiritual-void-2
Pete RingMaster 29/01/2022
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