Fayne – The Queen of Kings

FAYNE - Press Photo

The first release since returning from a hiatus in 2013, Canadian metallers Fayne have unleashed a maelstrom of a fury in The Queen of Kings EP. Bracingly raw yet just as feverishly sculpted the five track metalcore fuelled encounter reasserts the Montreal quintet as a seriously compelling proposition. It is merciless and ravenous examination of the senses and a perpetual spark for the imagination to feed upon. It is probably not an incitement for those liking an easy life with their music but for the rest it is an increasingly rewarding savaging which impresses more with every listen.

Before the break in 2008, Fayne drew strong attention and a potent following through their uncompromising sound, similarly imposing live performances, and the EPs You Took it All Away and Delivering The Final Blow in 2004 and 2006 respectively. Those releases led to numerous tours across Canada as well as the sharing of stages with the likes of Alexisonfire, Underoath, Hopesfall, and Blessed By A Broken Heart. Now the band unleash their new exploit, returning with an even more ferocious and creatively gripping sound but still sparking from inspirations such as Counterparts, Mastodon, and Periphery which have always spiced their invention. Produced by the band’s guitarist Alex Gonzalez with Alan Douches of West West Side Music (Dillinger Escape Plan, Every Time I Die, Between the Buried and Me) joining him for the final mastering, The Queen of Kings is a rabid blaze of sound and enterprise from its first second, never relenting even after ears and emotions are frayed and seduced.

The title track opens up the EP, its initial epic melodic coaxing swiftly turning to a blistering fury driven by the hoarse malevolent roars of Joseph Espinosa. Just as quickly an array of vocal tones join the mix, captivating as strongly as the EP Cover - Fayne - The Queen of Kings 2014abrasing riffs and intimidating rhythms alongside them. With no info to the contrary, the varying degrees of raw aggression and clean vocals are all assumingly bred within Espinosa and it is an impressive and unpredictable aspect of him and the band’s attack. Just as ferocious and inventively riveting is the web of intrigue crafted by the guitars of Gonzalez and Nick Fazioli, riffs hellacious and technical prowess in abundance as the pair spin a fascinating and enthralling weave of enterprise and adventure. The track continues to impress, whether a bestial assault or a flavoursome tempest, everything caged within the more directly intensive and predatory rhythmic tenacity of bassist Chris Kasp and drummer Carlo De Iuliis.

As evidenced by the whole release, there is plenty going on and involved in the structure of tracks with repeat listens the only way to discover the heart and depths of each offering. It is a demand which may test some but will reward all as shown by the following Believers which emerges from the tail of its predecessor with blistering grooves, rampaging rhythms, and further vocal diversity. Even more of a predator of the senses than the first track, it has an almost deranged and certainly fiercely agitated attack to its persuasion, everything driven with urgency but also a technical rabidity which almost deceives its quality through hostility. As it unveils more, the song is almost schizophrenic in its enterprise and twists, moving through shades of spite and aggression to explore more melodic pastures and sultry climates, though it is never too far away from savaging the listener.

This song and the fourth, is linked by Isonic Flight, a just short of two minute sonic drift through a haunting atmosphere with dulled rhythmic pulses for company. It is a piece which probably means more to the band and the journey of their release than it will for the listener, especially with it soon being forgotten once the outstanding Concord rises powerfully and contagiously from its tail wind. Riffs and rhythms are instant potent bait, across which raw flames of guitar erupt and a cleaner delivery from Espinosa lures, though he is soon entwining hoarse squalls into his again gripping attack. You would not call the frontman the most skilled vocalist in metal but there are few who are brave and daring enough to test themselves on songs with such a varied and successful arsenal. Arguably less vicious than the early tracks, though not short of malice and rage, the song is a potent fire of melodies and inflamed grooves toying with numerous styles and venturing into alluring experimental pastures.

The release is finished by Nomad’s Land which features Karl Schubach of Misery Signals. A spicy mix of metal flavours combine to encase the hoarse growls of Espinosa as the track sizzles venomously and engagingly from its first breath. Not quite matching the might of its predecessor, certainly until it’s dramatic and rigorously antagonistic final third, the song still provides an engrossing tapestry of interwoven sounds and textures which at times become quite muggy in their union but only provide a proposal which grips and excite ears and thoughts.

Though Fayne is not exactly a new band, they are still relatively a secret outside of their homeland, something The Queen of Kings will go some way to addressing and the unbridled potential within the band will eventually turn into something of the past.

The Queen of Kings is available digitally now via Crystal Math @ https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/the-queen-of-kings-ep/id937274484 and http://faynemusic.bandcamp.com/track/believers

https://www.facebook.com/faynemusic

RingMaster 21/11/2014

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The Morning After – Legacy

Before second and new album Legacy, UK Rock band The Morning After had already excited and drawn enthused acclaim and a fervent following from fans to the media, but with this release they will surely take classic rock/AOR to new heights amongst rock listening audiences. With sure exuberance, blatant teasing showmanship, and a definite confidence that their sounds will light up anyone’s day, the band and their album have rounded off a strong year of rock in distinctly fine style.

Fusing classic 80’s metal, melodic hard rock, and NWOBHM with shards of harsher metal and pop the Essex quartet create a sound that is buoyant, energetic and intriguing to any ear. For rock fans Legacy will be manna from heaven and even for the blacker more violently veined tastes as here there is more than enough substantial quality and dark veins running through much of the album to ensure solid attention and satisfaction.

Since their debut album of 2009 You Can’t Hurt Steel, the band has demanded and received impressive attention and support from the UK to even more immediate adulation in Japan. The UK was slower but in determined fashion caught on to the band too thanks to the release and the band’s explosive performances on tours and shows with the likes of Viking Skull and Blessed By A Broken Heart throughout the UK and Europe, plus a scorching performance at Download in 2010. Legacy released via Rising Records will thrust the band even further into the hearts of fans new and old as they take the melodic rock sounds that they have become known for and matured them with songwriting that is intelligent, engaging and captivating. 

The brief title track leads in the album with a glorious and immediately mesmerising harmony of voices before handing over to ‘Into The Fire’ and its vibrant classic rock/hair metal sounds. Addictive choruses, lively melodies and irrepressible energy thrust the song happily into the ear and though the song is not bursting with anything particularly unexpected the stabs of metal/hardcore intensity and coarse supporting vocals add substance that lifts the track. ‘Limit’ carries on in the same mould though stays firmly on the side of melodies with scorching guitar play and solo from Phil Maher and Sam Ryder. Vocally the blend of voices from the guitarists and bassist Gary Stone are a seamless union with the lead vocals of Ryder never less than impressive and of high quality.

The single from the album ‘America’ is another straight forward slice of melodic rock and though understandable why it is the lead track to draw people in it is probably the weakest and most predictable song on the Legacy. It certainly is not bad just a little dull, especially when in the context of the album against the likes of ‘The Witch Is In My Back’ with its creative variety and wonderful additional strings, the meaty and aggressive ‘Rest In Pieces’ and ‘These Hills Have Eyes’, plus by far the album’s best song ‘Stream Of Stars’. The last of these is worth checking out the album for alone, it being easily one of if not the best song to arise this year from anyone. Incisive guitars, probing basslines from Stone, and with drummer Jake Booth skilfully directing the affair this ten minute epic glory of metal and hypnotic melodies reveals there is so much more to the band creatively and in their ability to write stunning songs. In some ways it leaves a little taste of disappointment for the other songs on Legacy, in that though they are all fine and impressive creations they could have been much more on the evidence of ‘Stream Of Stars’.

Legacy is a joyful first rate album with a proud unbridled desire to bring rampant, verging on overblown, controlled glorious melodic rock to the senses. Even ears that crave intrusive pummelling will fall into its charms. The Morning After have created a masterpiece for classic/melodic rock fans that will have them drooling, and for the rest of us they have given one of the more agreeable and intriguing albums this year.

RingMaster 08/12/2011

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