Reviewed: June 1997
Released: 1997, Deep South Records
If you can remember high school chemistry then you should have no trouble remembering where you first heard of fe26. However, things have changed. Fe26 is not only the periodic table equivalent of iron, but is also the name of a four piece heavy groove-core band from Charlotte, NC. Fe26 formed in 1995 and has since played extensively in the southeastern US, opening for such established bands as Stuck Mojo, Pro-Pain, Korn, Karma to Burn, Madball, and Machine Head. At present the band is currently touring in support of their debut CD on Deep South Records entitled A Worldly Story.
A Worldly Story was released January 14, 1997. The CD contains ten memorable songs – nine originals and the amusing cover song “Cars,” an early 80’s pop hit. The music on the CD is fairly straight forward heavy groove with a hint of hardcore. Bands that come to mind as a comparison are Sepultura and Biohazard. Even though the songs themselves are well written and entertaining its not the music that makes this CD for me. It’s the amazing diversity and versatility in the vocals provided by Paul Fenner. With surprising ease Fenner can switch from a melodic clean voice to the roughest meanest death metal growl imaginable. This may make you think of Fear Factory’s Burton Bell, but Fenner and Fe26 are nothing like them. Fenner’s death growls are more along the lines of Six Feet Under’s Chris Barnes. Although at times Fenner sounds like Barnes he also in places sounds similar to Max Cavelara (Sepultura), and Lane Stanley (Alice In Chains), and that’s not all! The song on the CD that I probably like the best is “10 Degrees and Counting” because of the dramatic switch between clean vocals and death metal vocals. I could go on for days telling you of the different styles of music this guy can sing in. For a metal cover band this guy is a dream come true, but for a serious original band this type of voice means the sky is the limit in terms of what type of music the band can play. There is nothing he can’t sing…well except extremely high pitched crystal shattering screams.
Fe26 is rounded out by the following members: Dave (guitar & backing vocals), Lou Everette (bass & backing vocals), and Jason Donaldson (drums & percussion). Lyrically the band deals with the meat and potatoes of metal – death, despair and evil imagery. For example here’s a quote from the apocalyptic title track A Worldly Story “The Seventh has been broken, and the trumpets have been played. Miracles mistaken and just another plague. The water can’t be drunken, it’s bitter and runs red. This whole damn world is stinking of the diseased and the dead.”
I suggest you visit the Fe26 website at: www.deepsouthrec.com to get the details on how you can get your copy of this CD.
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