Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Fister : "No Spirit Within"

I was surprised these guys didn't lead off hitting me with a wall of fuzzed out distortion. Instead it's reverb drenched western sounding guitar. The first song is just an intro rather than an actual song, as it gives way to the wretched vocal howls and crunching slabs of low tuned riffs I was expecting. It poses the question where does doom begin and sludge end. This track is particularly puzzling in this regard as there is more of a woeful feel until things begin to pick up pace. The guitars capture a sonic atmosphere that's dark and impresses me. This also sets the course for the song to take a more jammed direction.  Then things take a much more brutal turn with "Cazador" the guitars becoming a demolishing swathe of pounding distortion. The vocals go into a lower more guttural growl to accent this. It moves into a more up tempo punk feeling riff. This is an interesting shift in dynamics which doesn't go into normal places as the band keeps you guessing. The guitars eventually wind themselves around to a more haunting melody.

" I Am Kuru"  slows down to more of a doom punch. The vocals have more anger to their gritty howl. Weird samples swirl with effects around the song to create a surreal atmosphere. The title track starts off with their dismal anger and then backs off into the more reverb friendly clean guitar that the album opened with. Less oppressive, the song has more room to breathe and works off the empty spaces where the atmosphere is until the drums speed up. Then they are back into the punk hybrid metal. They drone off this more atmospheric section. They combine their anger with the side of the band that enjoys to cast shadow on the atmosphere to create "Star Swallower" which lumbers and tend to fall along the lines of most doom tinged sludge I hear these days. The vocals go into a lower grunt.I don't feel this is the album's strongest song, but gets the job done for what it is, yet unlike many of the other songs it doesn't go above and beyond in the investment of creativity used to do this.

I'll round this album up to a 9, as when it excels it puts them onto top of  the sludge sub-genre. Much like the Ilsa album this one made me take a liking to this band , which is an accomplishment since I get so much of this thing coming through my in-box. I have to admit I like the trend of atmospheric sludge more than death doom this year. If you are bored with your current stock of sludge and want something with more thought then this is worth your time. This album comes out May 18th on Listenable Records.

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