Feared – Synder (Self-Released)Tuesday, 12th May 2015
After a very productive 2013 (releasing not one but two albums), perhaps commitments to The Haunted have finally slowed down Ola Englund and Feared. But fear not (pun intended), Feared’s fifth album takes a commanding charge and continues the successes of previous releases as well as pushing things a bit further in the right direction.
Feared continue to do what they do best on Synder. The band’s groove-tastic approach to melodic death metal is one-upped from their previous album, Vinter, in almost every way. What has kept Feared as a more singular entity is their approach to bottom-heavy riffage and melodies, and they come in spades here. Cuts like “Of Iron and Ashes,” “Wolf At the End of the World,” and “My Grief, My Sorrow” will all please longtime fans, with riffs that are sure to incite some feverish headbanging. The frantic “Dying Day” sees Feared at some of its most blistering, yet doesn’t forget the melodic side. Another highlight is “My Own Redemption,” which features some tasteful clean vocals that works as a nice change of pace in the second half of the disc, and also has some great soloing.
Feared works because they take the melodic death/thrash framework and truly add some balls to it. The vocals are brutal, the riffs are downright heavy, yet they find a way to squeeze in those melodies that keep Synder from becoming a one-note effort in death metal. The overall approach here is quite polished and focused, and simply sounds huge. As they rightfully should, the riffs take center stage and provide a much needed grit (see “War Feeding War”). As a progression from their previous efforts, Synder stands as the best one yet. Heavier, angrier, and full of melodies that are sure to knock your teeth out. Worthy of accolades, Feared should be a better known band within the genre and hopefully Synder will finally change that.