Fear My Thoughts: Vulcanus
Fear My Thoughts - Vulcanus - [Century Media Records]


If you're not humming the lead from "Vulcanus"'s opening track "Accompanied by death" by the time 17 seconds of the track have passed then there must be something wrong with you. For their fifth, and best, full-length so far Fear My Thoughts chose to start with a bang, a number so well-crafted you'd wonder where the hell they were hiding and how did they get so good… well, these German folk have been showing signs of superiority for about nine years now, so it's no wonder they now deliver a package of 12 perfectly balanced tracks, wrapped in uber-professional sound by uber-producer Jacob Hansen (who's worked with the likes of Cummunic, Hatesphere, Mercenary, Beyond Twilight and many others).

"Vulcanus" – a grandiose title to a grandiose album – is equally heavy and epic, filled with hooks but also fitted with plenty of breakdown; a pleasant cocktail of metallic genres, where you can feel the melodic flavor but still feel the burn down your throat.
Aforementioned opener "Accompanied by death" isn't the only adhesive track here, follower "Blackness" has a great chorus as well, hiding in-between a track pinned style-wise somewhere between The Haunted and Children Of Bodom, and the similarities to other bands don’t stop there. All 12 tracks in "Vulcanus" bare some similarity to one well known band or another, not in a rip-off manner but rather in homage to the "shoot first and ask questions later" metal we all enjoy; some examples of this are the very solid "Survival Scars", a Swedish melodic death metal number heavily influenced by At The Gates, "Soul Consumer" and "Gates to Nowhere" with the more modern Swedish scents of In Flames and Soilwork, and "Lost in black" going at the guitarwork of one Michael Amott (ex-Carcass, Arch Enemy).

Standouts, other than the opener, include the epic "Culture of fear" – a more melodic attempt, most similar to Opeth or Insomnium, with multiple melodic layers, varied guitars, a sing-along chorus and a provocation of an uncontrollable need to air drum; "Accelerate or die", with the surprising guest appearance of Destruction's both Schmier and Mike, promising to be suitable to every thrash loving metalhead pelt; the explosive "Stamp of credence", again having Swedish melo-death metal leanings, but also launching some full-frontal-testosterone-filled black metal parts, a mellow break, a swelling tribal uprise and serving as a pounding "annoy your neighbors" kinda track
And last but not least is the title track – "Vulcanus" itself – offering a well earned rest from all the racketing in the shape of an instrumental epic, with a Maiden-esque beginning, exquisite vintage Deep Purple keyboards by Anubis Gates' Kim Olesen (which did the keys for the entire album, but is most noted here), and even more exquisite guitarwork by both Markus Ruf and Patrick Hangmann.

The 2007 version of Fear My Thoughts delivers a neat, yet heavy as hell and better than "Hell Sweet Hell" package, conquers both inlands and overseas metallic regions while neglecting some of the hardcore touches the band had in previous albums almost completely ("Both Blood" is the only number showing the hardcore ghosts of the past, and a small portion of the vocals and breakdowns throughout the album leave some marks as well).
The only flaw one would find here is that the album's finish isn't as strong as its start, "Wasteland" is solid overall, even has further vocal variation (whispers, dramatic reading, throaty growls…), some of the great keys previously found in the title track, but still doesn't have that "wow" factor. Nevertheless, "Vulcanus" works, and earns Fear My Thoughts a well earned position in the current distorted landscape.

Ofer Vayner

Share |
blog comments powered by Disqus