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Feared - "Furor Incarnatus" (CD)

Feared - "Furor Incarnatus" CD cover image

"Furor Incarnatus" track listing:

1. Live In You
2. Breathing Failure
3. Psycho Logic
4. Vintersol (Featuring Fred Brum)
5. Possessed
6. Satan
7. Warbound
8. Devil In White
9. Neverlasting
10. Impending Doom
11. Forever Old
12. End

Reviewed by on April 12, 2013

"The end result is an album of non-stop headbanging that challenges both the death metal and progressive genres to work harder from here forward to get on their level."

Much like introducing innovation to stained glass window-making, crafting a progressive death metal record is no easy feat. You have the competing worlds of an art steeped in the revered conventional and an art defined by its opposition to convention both competing over the same sound space. What's more is that both have the work of their revered predecessors constantly hovering over them, putting on the pressure. Feared has risen to the challenge of a third record in spite of this with "Furor Incarnatus."

Starting off in an Opeth-like manner, with acoustic plucking and a huge tom roll on the drums, "Live In You" starts things off rather quickly. Within the first minute, vocalist Mario Ramos introduces two dark lyrical themes death metalheads will be very familiar with -- fictional first-person psychotic narratives and exploitation. "I love you to death, and I do really mean it. You're useless to me in your current form." "Psycho Logic" pushes things further, almost like a Saw movie. Ramos's high-clarity, multi-layered death growls and brutal yells combine over lyrics in first-person that verbally berate a captive person for what the calculating killer-protagonist sees as provoking his rage.

Guitarist Ola Englund (of Six Feet Under) drops soul-crushing riffs as if it were nothing, recalling Nevermore and Cannibal Corpse at times and Opeth at other moments when he opens up to chords. When soloing, he flies off the rails in terms of technicality, but remains calculating, with hints of Mattias Eklundh and Per Nilsson in his use of techniques and tone. Another point of note is the bass guitar sound, also performed by Englund, which contributes a gigantic and audible heaviness to the groove in songs such as "Breathing Failure," "Neverlasting," and "Warbound."

The addition of drummer Kevin Talley (of Chimaira/Dying Fetus/Misery Index) elevates the Feared sound to new heights, incorporating his signature build-ups, fills, and footwork. Blast beats, elaborate cymbal fills, and a very flattering production pepper the drum work. The end result, when combined as a whole, is an album of non-stop headbanging that challenges both the death metal and progressive genres to work harder from here forward to get on their level.

The album closes with fittingly with "End," rising in one last ode to the dark beauty of the other songs, as if it were the musical theme behind the action captured in the cover artwork. "Furor Incarnatus" is a record to be respected if not loved, and will surely mark Feared's entrance into the public consciousness of heavy metal.

Highs: Churning riffs, high technicality, focus on brutal death-growl clarity.

Lows: The lyrics embrace uncomfortable perspectives and will surely unnerve sensitive listeners.

Bottom line: A brutally refined merger of technical prog and death metal, and a celebration of the Kevin Talley death-groove.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)