Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 1/1/2005
Fear Thy Name
Riding The Chariots Of War
posted on 5/2005 By:
Do we really need more of this? I’ve had this record on my plate for months now, and have found it almost impossible to write a substantial review about something so remarkably unremarkable that it inspires little more than stifling indifference and apathy. Everything about this band is rather bland- the name, the cover, the pictures of the band, the song titles, and the bafflingly long keyboard-laden songs. What we have here is some ultra-polished, competently played but appallingly stale blackened metal that toes the line between blasty norsecore, chugging, more mid-paced fare that recalls mid-period Samael, melodic Gothenburg thrash metal ala Carnal Forge and spectral Borgir type textures. While the musical execution on this record remains admirably confident and laudably accomplished, for the most part Fear Thy Name tends to stuff far too many pedestrian, uninteresting ideas into unnecessarily lengthy songs, resulting in a three song demo that feels far longer than it is.
To their credit, Fear Thy Name do, at numerous points throughout the record, draw favorable comparisons to Samael circa the Rebellion EP and the Passage LP, utilizing the same melodic, deliberate, chugging rhythmic feel, juxtaposed with a prominent use of keyboards. Some of their more somber, more reflective moments are also rather reminiscent of the latter day output from illustrious countrymen Moonspell. Yet, for all the positive features one can glean from this recording, there are just as many overwhelmingly standard moments that sound far more like unimaginative emulation than anything worthy of genuine praise. All three tracks showcase moments of brilliance, the band displaying a profound sense of dynamic and melody that separates them from the hulking mass of norsecore pretenders currently saturating the market with substandard product. When they hit their stride, Fear Thy Name do a commendable job of playing convincing, dark and strikingly accessible dark metal, only to negate such moments with moments of confounding predictability. Too many open chord chugging notes that outstay their welcome, silly sounding keyboards assume too much prominence in the mix when they should only provide a haunting counterpart to the crunchy proceedings, too many boring lead melodies, too much fat tacked on to generally strong song ideas.
This is a band that shows promise beneath all the underwhelming negatives. Being an admitted fan of Samael’s awkward transition period (ie. before one of the greatest black metal bands lost it ALTOGETHER), I found, upon extended listens, a host of well-conceived ideas mired in a swamp of uninspiring ones. Of course, this being a young band, such naïveté is perhaps expected, and one can only hope that they continue to develop the Samael/Tiamat/Moonspell slant of their sound, instead of crowding them with subpar Gothenburg and Nordic moments. While not quite doing justice to the legacy erected by Moonspell, Alastor and Decayed, Fear Thy Name have displayed enough promise throughout a generally unexciting disc to suggest they may yet induct themselves into that unhallowed pantheon. Average!
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