Saturday, December 08, 2018

Engulfed In Power...

Feel No Pain - Into the Chaos (2018)

Having changed out half of their line-up last year, following the release of their demo in 2016, the Spanish group of Feel No Pain are naturally still shaping their sound, but from the four songs on this, their first EP, they're shaping up quite well. Leading with the shortest track, “Tower of Silence”, the band gives a taste of atmosphere and drum flourishes, with chanting and croaking bird squawks leading into a doomy but energized vibe. Segueing from there into “Sky Burial”, FNP bursts loose with a blitz of drum and guitar action, firm bass-lines setting the foundation for them to rock out. The riffs are plentiful, but the band is careful not to let them drag on for too long before switching to the next, and the high speed of action gives things a feel not unlike '80s heavy metal infused with some Slayer-like aggression.
“Vanished” brings in some tricky rhythmic play, but settles into its high-speed groove with fine style, rumbling and pounding along while throwing in switch-ups and breaks that provide variety without killing the flow. The solo towards the end gives a great demonstration of the band's shredding capabilities, and the drummer never lets up in giving his part cool intensity. Closing out with “Into the Chaos Dimension”, FNP keep things strongly rocking, firing percussion barrages and striking guitar ragers while bellowing to match. As their first non-demo release, it's a Hell of an impressive one, and should earn them some attention for the hard work and intensity they put into it.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Atrocity, Earthling, Exciter, early Slayer, Weapon


Saturday, December 01, 2018

Finding Faith Below...

Lowered - Lowered (2018)

Coming at us from the fertile musical landscape of Portland, Oregon, the debut LP from Lowered brings the group into action with half an hour of black doom metal, emphasis on the black side. Split across four songs, the band gives each piece extensive development, shifting through riffs and rhythms with sharp flexibility while keeping the speeds high enough to get your brains rattling. Melodic progressions are given clear presence in the midst of the slamming, and the breaks into sparser instrumentation are handled with enough deftness to slide them right in without detracting from the songs' flow. The vocals are suitably demonic, with a good balance of rasp and groan, and their fine meshing with the grinding tone of the guitar gives the band an extra notch of distinction to their sound, on top of the impressive flow control they maintain through the lengthy tracks. Though the album was originally released back in February, it's been picked up for vinyl reissue by Throne Records, with regular and deluxe editions available in addition to a few test pressings. Hopefully the band will keep up their momentum and provide a follow-up before too long, but in the meantime, there's plenty to savor here. Something for you fusion fans with a taste for the harder stuff.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Alraune, Earthling, Hesperian Death Horse, early Opeth, Trees