Fister – No Spirit Within (Listenable Records)

Tuesday, 15th May 2018
Rating: 7/10

Hailing from St. Louis, Missouri – Fister since 2009 have been laying down the doom-sludge-stoner metal triad as a trio, permeating the market with a devastating sound. Their output has included Bathory covers on Bronsonic and a one track IV full-length at almost 44-minutes, beyond the litany of split and EP contributions. Signing with Listenable Records, their latest effort No Spirit Within keeps the fear flowing, sonic bombardment at it’s slowest, heaviest, and sometimes most extreme form. The challenge can be simply making it front to back even though it’s at a palatable seven tracks in 48 minutes.

Vocally bassist Kenny Snarzyk screams his larynx off, adding distortion on top of the natural music distortion to obliterate all senses, making hair stand up on edge and careening against all walls constructed during the twelve-minute plus centerpiece of a title track. Outside of two shorter instrumentals that appear at the beginning with “Frozen Scythe” and close to end for “Heat Death”, Fister prefer the drawn out, low-tuned chord progressions that live for a Sleep/Grief vibe. Eschewing logical sequences to go for more of a crushing deluge where you never know when the snare hit will come, or next driving guitar sequence – although “Disgraced Possession” rears back for a bit of that blackened/death vibe a la Bathory or early Primordial as guitarist Marcus Newstead unfurls some tremolo/Voivod-ian feasts in a longer instrumental section from 2:51-5:36. When the emphasis takes on more sludge or funeral doom than anything remotely song-oriented, interest wanes as a cut like “Cazador” lumbers and lingers even at a more than reasonable 7:20 clip, despite the relative grunge tenfold speed pick up in spots.

Fister synthesize as best as possible the three genres on hand for No Spirit Within – it’s just a combination that you have to be in the right mood to fully appreciate.

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