Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN - 21/4
The Charm The Fury
The Sick, Dumb And Happy
Written by: MAK on 31/03/2017 02:40:09
My first experience of Dutch groove metallers, The Charm The Fury was back in 2013 in a small pub supporting Carcer City, a show which my friend’s band Leveller even opened. What stood out at the time was the erratic metalcore approach that emulated the likes of Underoath. Note my surprise that four years later and on their second full-length album, “The Sick, Dumb & Happy”, there is now a 90s-metal vibe that sounds closer to something like Pantera. This is a drastic change even from their debut album, “A Shade of Former Self”, which still resembled an anthemic metalcore tone to it, much like While She Sleeps. Now with Arising Empire, which is a subsidiary to Nuclear Blast, there is a stronger, more dominant atmosphere that erupts from The Charm The Fury.
There is a much simpler approach from the Dutch outfit now. The five-piece are still as heavy as they always have been, but the musicianship isn’t quite as intense the whole way through or anywhere near as intricate as the older material was. Even the lyrical style, it’s brutal and ferocious sonically, but the delivery isn’t quite as rabid as it once was. Take “Weaponized” for example, it’s a pure groover that takes influences from NWOAHM bands such as Chimaira in the guitar grooves, and the all-out heaviness. Frontwoman Caroline Westendorp even sounds like a female Mark Hunter with some savage screams.
Intensity does remain in some respects. Opener track, “Down On The Ropes” for example does hit you with erratic high-tempo riffs and drum work, but that merely evolves into slow Pantera-like grooves. Westendorp sounds remarkably like Phil Anselmo in this one; her gruff shouts amusingly have that southern twang to it with her usual savageness giving her a more brutal edge. “Blood and Salt” then stands out as a melodic, yet heavy slow burner track that showcases the frontwoman's impressive singing voice. This is then taken further with the elegant acoustic track “Silent War”.
Topically, this is an angry record driven by a collective distaste for the state of the planet in the 21st century. On a lyrical level, this album brims with mesmerising cautionary tales of self-destruction, the horrors of war and the spread of corruption through the political and financial worlds. Another thought pushed on this release is on how society has become dumb to the politics of the world because we are only focused on ourselves.
I have been taken aback by how different The Charm The Fury now sounds, but I think this is a change for the better. Nothing against their older material, “The Social Meltdown” was a great debut EP, but the shift to taking influence dominantly from the 90s and 00s groove metal will win over a whole load of new fans. And to have a song like “Songs Of Obscenity” as a massive heavy metal sing-along will give people festival pleaser for sure. This isn’t an album that ticks boxes to be pigeonholed in subgenres, this is a no bullshit metal album for metal fans.
Download: Weaponized, Songs Of Obscenity, Down On The Ropes
For The Fans Of: Chimaira, Pantera, Damage Plan
Release date 17.03.2017
Arising Empire/Nuclear Blast
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