Feed Her To The Sharks

Fortitude

Written by: PP on 17/03/2015 22:55:14

Where the ability of the US to produce metalcore bands that aren't completely generic seems to have diminished to near-zero, Australia has in recent years been a net exporter of some of the most beloved new bands in the genre. Victory Records snatched another one of them in the form of Feed Her To The Sharks from Melbourne, whose third album "Fortitude" is a lesson in metalcore circa 2001-era, also known as the period before metalcore descended into an oversaturated gray mass of bands indistinguishable from one another. Here, you'll hear elements from early As I Lay Dying albums like "Beneath The Encasing Of Ashes" and of course genre pioneers in Zao, whose more death/black metal style vocal shrieks have been a clear-cut inspiration for Feed Her To The Sharks vocalist Andrew Van Der Zalm.

His throat-destroying shrieks will surely be a love/hate issue among metalcore fans, but he does vary his expression with more standardized growls as well. Clean vocals are also used extensively as a contrasting element, here echoing the melancholy of old As I Lay Dying records in particular, but much like Confession's equivalents the contrast is a little bit too stark to work properly. Translation: the cleans are too emo and thus feel too weak in comparison.

But while metalcore origins are being constantly referenced through the vocals and partially also the riffs, which can be downright spectacular at times (see: "Terrorist" which borrows from All That Remains' early material), these are of course mixed with some modern flavor. The vast majority of the album is drowning in chug-chug breakdowns of the worst Emmure kind, meaning as thick and muscular as possible but which don't really serve any real purpose other than to create a pseudo-heavy vibe to the songs. Moreover, faint electronics are used (tastefully) on a couple of songs in the background, but fortunately never intrusively or as the primary element of their sound, which scores the band a few positive points in my book. Still, these two elements drag down the overall impression quite a bit because especially the breakdowns feel unnecessary compared to the high-flying dynamics of the lead guitar when it is used for actual fretwork instead. In the end, "Fortitude" can be found somewhere between a nostalgic reminder of the glory days of metalcore and the generic drivel most of the genre is in 2015.

Download: Terrorist, Shadow Of Myself, Chasing Glory
For the fans of: Zao, Emmure, Heaven Shall Burn, Neaera, As I Lay Dying, All That Remains
Listen: Facebook

Release date 10.02.2015
Victory Records

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