Released: 2013, Unsigned
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