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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Fervence

Ghost

Review by Gary Hill

This act combines modern nu-metal with alternative rock, epic metal and more. The sound is often furious and rather raw, but most of the vocals are clean and melodic. There are hooks throughout. It often has thrash elements and there are extreme metal vocals sprinkled here and there. All in all, this is largely effective.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 3. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2020.

Track by Track Review
Beneath the Sleeping Earth
This comes in with a movement that is understated, but feels like it could explode out at any time. Instead the vocals come in over the top of this rather balladic backdrop. After that first vocal section, though, this explodes into a movement that has a real extreme metal vibe to it. The clean vocals come in again, and the cut works forward, at first over a reprise of the mellower section before the ferocity returns. This is fierce and yet also melodic in a lot of ways. There is a real epic metal element at play. There are some more extreme metal vocals at one point later.
Corrosion

While there is a bit understated introduction, that part is short and gives way to screaming hot metal. This is both polished and raw in a weird juxtaposition. There is a definite thrash metal vibe to this thing, but tempered with a real symphonic element. Clean vocals are the order of business here, serving as contrast to the ferocity of the music.

The Silent Wall
A big change, piano brings this into being. The vocals come in over the top of that arrangement. This never climbs up into metal territory. Instead it stays in this mellower mode through its short run. That is until a blast of sound builds at the end to segue into the next piece.
Surrogate
Coming out of the previous cut, this fires in with some seriously hard-edged nu-metal. The cut gets in some more melodic, rather proggy sections as it works onward. A mellower movement takes over at the end.
Paxism
Blasting in fierce and heavy, this is a real firestorm at the beginning, complete with extreme metal vocals. It works to a more melodic, almost proggy movement with clean vocals from there. Eventually it works to the more extreme again for the closing section.
Ghost
The title track has moody elements along with heavier, more fierce ones. There are no extreme vocals on this cut, but it still has plenty of intensity.
The Endless Black I Find
A study in contrast, this piece has some of the most incendiary music of the set with some extreme metal vocals. It also has some particularly gentle stuff that leans toward classical music. It's an effective way to end the set, particularly as it drops to a satisfying mellow final movement.
 
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