Ferium - Reflections - (7/10)
Published on April 12, 2014
Reflections, the debut album from Israeli, modern death outfit Ferium, is an impressive if underdeveloped affair that nonetheless demonstrates a considerable amount of potential and marks Ferium out as future forebears of the genre.
Sonically, Ferium find their closest relatives in fellow transitional death metallers 7 Horns 7 Eyes and the largely unsung, French groove ensemble, Dagoba; as well as their better-known countrymen in Gojira. However, Reflections often finds the band compelled by a modern groove of the kind most closely associated with American post-thrash acts like Lamb Of God and Chimaira.
When Ferium hit their stride – such as on the Meshuggahed-out “Change Of Winds,” the very Chimaira-esque “Bussiness On Demand” and the crushing final moments of “Side Effects” – they are a force to be reckoned with. However, Reflections falls short of conjuring the monolithic behemoth depicted on its cover (which it heartily aims for) due to a deceptively hollow mix.
The major casualty of Reflections‘ over-crisp, modern production is, bassist, Yoni Biton, whose instrument is principally lost amid Reflections’ mix – primarily buried beneath the staccato cannon of Ron Amar’s kick and otherwise boasting an overly top-heavy tone, which fails to cut through the mix substantially enough to properly reinforce the looming groove of guitarists, Guy Goldenberg and Elram Boxer.1
It’s clear that Ferium have put an extensive amount of thought into their song structures. However, there’s a lot of room for general tidying up, with many (if not all) of the songs on Reflections feeling as though they’d benefit from cutting/tightening a few seconds here and there, and it would be nice to see Amar taking a more diverse approach as well as a greater melodic presence from Boxer and Goldenberg, who show they are more than capable.
It would be rather telling if that turned out to be Biton at the back there, giving it his all.
Despite being underdeveloped, Reflections remains, on the whole, compelling (not least due to the largely understated guitar work of Goldenberg and Boxer) and, with a bit of refinement, we’re sure to see Ferium return with a formidable sophomore effort.
1 I am sorry to report that there is, in fact, not a pornographic actor (nor has there ever been) who goes by the name of Guy Goldman. (Nor is there one named Elram Boxer for that matter.)