Stygian – Fury Rising (Mortal Music)

Monday, 18th March 2013
Rating: 7.5/10

Not as power metal as their name would suggest (there is a “Stygia” who is manned by a dude who used to play drums in this scribe’s first band – wow!), Stygian take us down the ‘ole COC route on Fury Rising, sans the idiotic Southern drivel, of course – these dudes are from Philly. Few choose this route nowadays, probably because it’s very 90’s sounding, so perhaps Stygian are a few years ahead of everyone else, which can’t be that bad of a thing.

Vocalist/guitarist Frank Leary is a dead-ringer for Peeper Keenan. There’s no two ways about it and it lends to a lot of Fury Rising having that Deliverance-era meets Load type of vibe to it. Mid-90’s American metal. What a bad time that was. Nevertheless, Stygian have some songwriting skills that are pushed to the fore on the driving opener “Suffer Patiently,” “Crimson Sand” (a jam thatreally has that Deliverance feel) and the twin-lead laden “Glass Legacy,” which is probably the best song here. The band gives the ‘ole college ballad try with “My Regret” and “Fever Slide” and manage to not embarrasses themselves, so kudos for that.

Obviously, Fury Rising is built for either arenas or beer-soaked bar rooms. There’s no real in between and that in-between would be the primary metal underground. We’re a tad unsure where the band’s audience would be outside of the shrinking FM radio ranks, yet Fury Rising emerges as the kind of dependable, hook-laden hard rock record many of us would fall back upon had this stuff not been such a glaring afterthought 15 years ago.

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