“Of Vengeance And Fear” is a crunchy album of hazy riffing and enough monumental breakdowns to make Jamey Jasta cream his shorts. It is thus not much of a surprise to describe this four-piece as a sheltered love child of (new) SLAYER and HATEBREED. Anger and hate fuel the flames which aspires to light the world on fire yet only manage to singe your fingertips while attempting to light a smoke.
Talent is certainly evident with this debut EP, the problem is that it may often be buried beneath all the noise and oppressive baggage weighing down the Modern Metal community. At the fore of the storm is vocalist Frank, screaming his ass off till his lungs are rawer than the nether-regions of a 10 cent whore. Overwhelming entire portions of several compositions, his Hardcore scream is more one-dimensional than Araya’s latest barking and detracts from the thick guitar tone and soothing battery. I can certainly imagine his presence being quite vicious and overwhelming in a live setting; a disc, however, is a completely different story.
The fact that this project only contains a single guitarist is also clearly evident in the song-writing which at times can only be described as lacking creativity. The riffs as a whole are quite solid for this sub-genre, but there are moments when attention wanes and the compositions clearly lose focus. The constant break-downs and stop/start riffing can become overly annoying and relied on a bit too heavily for my tastes, often causing the opposite of a snow-ball effect. Luckily for us, drummer John is always bashing in skulls with a clear, organic punch that is continually creative in a somewhat subtle manner. Double-bass is handled exceptionally offering the odd roll to punctuate a specific moment in a track rather than relying on a constant stream of pounding sub-range to fill in for talent. The infrequent fills also manage to overshadow anything else occurring at that specific moment in time as you can’t help but marvel at the simple yet effective performance.
If you’re into flailing your arms about in a tornado fashion or are more at home in a mosh-pit than your trailer home, “Of Vengeance And Fear” may very well be your thing. It is certainly an album which possesses as many Hardcore ties as it does Metal, which results in a somewhat erratic focus. Chug, chug, chug and stomp the yard like there’s no tomorrow.
(Online June 7, 2007)