What could you expect from FEAR MY THOUGHTS after their move from Lifeforce Records to Century Media and how would the five Germans manage to blow away their fans once more after the amazing “Hell Sweet Hell”? One thing is for sure, on “Vulcanus”, their fifth effort, FEAR MY THOUGHTS once again managed to sound different than they did on their previous discs without losing their identity. While they could clearly be labelled Metalcore in the past, “Vulcanus” strays from that path and flirts with Thrash and Death Metal as well as with rocking, even spherical influences which fit the band very well.
Somehow that’s a strange thing, because more and more Metalcore bands that were among the initiators of this scene are leaving it now. Apparently they don’t want to lumped together with the more or less good newcomers and decided to cross the borders of metallic Hardcore. Of course, the roots are still recognizable, but they are skilfully hidden by the afore-mentioned influences and take a backseat. This is by no means a betrayal of the scene, though, and in the case of FEAR MY THOUGHTS it is not a big thing either, as “Vulcanus” impressively proves what they are able to do. However, the most important thing is that each song coherent and that the quintet’s renewed music is authentic and does not sound like it was ripped off.
„Accompanied By Death“ sweeps away and wields the Thrash bat in a really enjoyable fashion. There are parallels to some melodic Death Metal bands from Sweden as well as a short blast beat attack in the mid-section of the song. There’s lots of variation! “Blackness” continues this and has an amazing chorus which would suit and Power Metal band. Brutality and intensity with style, but without and commercial aspects. With “Culture Of Fear”, they decrease the speed and start the song with acoustic strumming and a lot of atmosphere. Die hard fans of FEAR MY THOUGHTS will be appalled at first, but after several spins the horror will turn into enjoyment. You also have to mention the clean vocals, because they fit the overall sound perfectly and compliment the perfect instrumental action. Every musical style is present here, which makes it even harder to give FEAR MY THOUGHTS a clear genre label in 2007. It’s just modern Metal which incorporates both classical elements and new influences.
„Accelerate Or Die“ is a classical track and will probably make the thrashing crowd go mad. The special guests on this track are no others than the two DESTRUCTION warriors Schmier (vocals) and Mike (guitar). Needless to say, this combination is more than just good. “Stamp Of Credence“ is a mighty stomper with calm parts. Monstrous riffs and rolling double bass passages duel here, with the latter being interrupted by acoustic guitars and keyboard sounds. The arrangements are great and thus we have another highlight on this new masterpiece. “Survival Scars” is strongly reminiscent of Swedish cult Death Metal gods AT THE GATES, which is not meant negatively, considering the diversity of this album, but once again shows the band’s musical preferences. The following instrumental and absolutely dark title track starts out relaxed and allows he listener to take a breath. Only in the middle of this tune the guitars resound and the interwoven synthesizer sounds create a really unique feeling which is intensified by the 70’s guitar solo at the end. Unusual for this band, but also really appropriate and coherent. “Soul Consumer” can be called heavily rocking as well, you will not find any fierce blasting but you will be haunted by a driving groove and a great earworm chorus.
Those who need rougher stuff will be satisfied by „Both Blood“, even though FEAR MY THOUGHTS play more progressively and playfully here. “Gates To Nowhere“ is a bit more straight-forward, with the melodic vocal parts providing for variation here as well. Apart from that, we get a lot of howling and screaming until the vocal chords start glowing. Another highlight is the massive “Lost In Black” which does not take any prisoners but crushes the listener with lots of power. The album is closed by the equally brutish and melodious “Wasteland” which has great loud/quiet dynamics and thus is a perfect closer.
In “Vulcanus”, FEAR MY THOUGHTS have created their most mature album to date, and they don’t give a shit about any scenes or similar rubbish but unleash their will to play and their ideas. It goes without saying that the production (Ex-INVOCATOR guitarist and producer Jacob Hansen operated the soundboard in the studio) is amazing. Those who did not have “Vulcanus” on their shopping list ot ignored FEAR MY THOUGHTS up until now should make up for this as soon as possible and get this masterpiece without thinking about it for too long. This is terrific, there’s no doubt about that!
(Online March 17, 2007)