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Feared
Vinter
February 2013
Released: 2013, Unsigned
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team

Swedish deathsters FEARED might have only been around since 2007 but since the following year’s demo surfaced they have steadily built up an enviable following. It took until 2010 for them to put out their first full length album. The eponymous debut marked the start of a prolific period for the band culminating in this their fifth and by far best album to date.



Always well known in their native Scandinavia, the rest of Europe and beyond has been a more difficult market to conquer. Much of this has to be due to the sheer number of bands around from this region. You could also cite FEARED’s up until now slightly sloppy sound which meant many marked them down for a listen then discarded them.



‘Vinter’ though sees a considerable improvement. For a start the music is drum head tight, even during those deliberate moments of disjointedness the plot is not lost. The band still have their recognisable groove effect that makes them instantly recognisable, they’ve just put a more technical spin on it. The vocals too are harder and clearer, it’s still Mario Ramos at the mic but it’s as though his voicebox has been working out. All this makes me question the production on the previous albums.



The overall effect of what feels like a mini makeover is that FEARED have well and truly stepped up into the big league in terms of quality. ‘Mass Destruction’ is evidence that the band have worked so very hard as individuals as well as collectively to up their game. Here Ola Englund displays some very smart guitar moves while Jocke Skog (bass) and Kevin Talley (drums) show that less can so often be more with some almost funk metal rhythm work.



They almost steal the show more than once with their ability to play as one unit nearing Carcass levels of perfection. My only real criticism is that they’ve included a one minute or so intro that does nothing to enhance the album and that compared to the giants in this very well populated sea they’ve still got a little way to grow. ‘

Vinter’ puts the boys from Stockholm firmly in the premier league – now they’ve got to stay there.



Review by Gary Trueman
Track Listing

1. Sun Awake
2.Needle Effect
3. Your God
4. Hate Is Everything
5. Mass Destruction
6. Erased
7. Huldra
8. Invidia
9. Mylingen
10. My Shadow World
11. Vinter

Lineup

Ola Englund - Guitar
Mario Ramos - Vocals
Jocke Skog - Bass
Kevin Talley - Drums

Other reviews

» Vinter
by Metal-Rules.com UK Team

» Vinter
by Peter Atkinson


Next review: » Feared - Vinter
Previous review: » Fear My Thoughts - Vulcanus

Feared
Vinter
February 2014
Released: 2013, Self-released
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson

Swedish guitarist Ola Englund's been one busy dude over the last year or so, recording and performing with Six Feet Under, more recently with The Haunted and, here, with his own band Feared, which issued two new albums in 2013. The latest of which is Vinter, Feared's fifth full-length since 2010, yet their first as a full band.



This time around, Englund and frontman Mario Santos Ramos are joined by the rhythm section of bassist Jocke Skog, formerly of Clawfinger, and drummer Kevin Talley, who's played with just about everyone including Englund on the last Six Feet Under album, Unborn. The addition of real drums, as opposed to programming, makes a real difference here, especially when said drummer brings the impeccable timing and rhythmic flair that Talley does.



He and Skog give Feared's melodic thrash/death metal some real swing and “bottom” that carries over to Englund's guitaring, which is hefty and hooky throughout. Vinter is certainly the band's most natural sounding, cohesive album and, thanks to tracks like the groove-laden “Huldra,” “Mylingen” or “Mass Destruction,” arguably packs the most punch. “Hate Is Everything,” “Your God” and “Needle Effect” kick up the tempos and, not surprisingly, kick that much more ass.



The doomy “My Shadow World,” by contrast, offers some nifty melodic guitar swells, even though the song itself is a bit plodding and stumbles from Ramos' one-dimensional growl. His ferocious voice is fine for the more aggressive tracks, but when more finesse is in order, like here or “Erased,” it's a bit too abrasive.



But that's a relatively minor complaint. Vinter is a big step up for this prolific band that have gotten incrementally better in pretty short order. If Englund can hold this unit together, and he and Talley's other commitments don't get in the way, the sky could be the limit for these guys.
Track Listing

1. Sun Awake
2. Needle Effect
3. Your God
4. Hate Is Everything
5. Mass Destruction
6. Erased
7. Huldra
8. Invidia
9. Mylingen
10. My Shadow World
11. Vinter

Lineup

Mario Santos Ramos - vocals
Ola Englund - guitar
Jocke Skog - bass
Kevin Talley - drums

Other reviews

» Vinter
by Metal-Rules.com UK Team

» Vinter
by Peter Atkinson


Next review: » Feiled - Midnight Poems
Previous review: » Fear My Thoughts - Vulcanus





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