Swedish death metal band, Feared, have just released their latest studio album. That album is called Svart and it came out on the 8th of December. It is Feared’s eigth studio album overall and follows last years acclaimed release Reborn and 2015’s, Synder. Svart was mixed by Marek Lewis who works with the likes of Cannibal Corpse, Whitechapel and Trivium. The album artwork comes from the talent of Sylvain Lucchina.
Feared are founding member and guitarist Ola Englund, of The Haunted. Alongside him is Mario Ramos on vocals and Jocke Skog on bass. Last but not least is Kevin Talley on the drums.
Svart has 9 tracks on it altogether and weighs in at a measly 25 minutes. Just under that actually. It is pretty short for a full length studio album. That probably explains why the band are able to push out a new release annually. The album kicks off with När Allt Blir Svart.
När Allt Blir Svart is a short instrumental opener with a nice guitar melody which leads nicely into track two. That track is King of the Dead and it is a banging tune. It is fast and thrashy and reminds me a little of Devildriver. Strong vocals with different tones used for backing gives the track real power. The music has a strong taste of hardcore/metalcore to it with blasting drum beats. This style continues into the third track called Hate Mantra. A fast and ferocious song that jumps into extreme death during the verses before hitting you with a solo or breakdown. A little melodic breather near the end lulls you into a false sense of security before the vocals come back in even heavier than before.
Engines of Death is another heavy one though with a little groove to it. The drums in the intro are phenomenal and impossible not to headbang along with. Vicious verses lead into a chorus that has a huge riff that will hook you in. The drums on this track are immense and the solo at the end leaves you wishing for more. It isn’t all death and chaos musically on the album either. There are little glimpses into other styles that keep the overall sound feeling very fresh. Take track 5, for example. In I Dimman is a 1 minute long piano interlude that is haunting, sombre and breaks the album up with something that stands out as being a little different.
My Next has a gentle guitar melody playing in the intro that leads into a spoken word verse. About half way through this song, the electric guitars and heavy vocals jump in for a quick blast. The underlying melody stays though as we are treated to a great solo that fades out back into the acoustic melody of the intro. It is a wonderfully structured song. The Mare starts off as a pretty typical death metal track with fast drum blasts, a strong bass line and quick riff but switches near the end to a bass section with dark sounding spoken words, verging on a black metal verse. Again, it is something a little different though not quite as good a song as King of the Dead.
I’m not overly keen on Your Black is My White either actually. I am not sure why exactly – I just don’t really like the mechanical, distorted riff at the beginning and find the slow twang of the guitars a little odd. I do like the solo at the end though.
The album closer also stands out as different. Blodspar is an instrumental with a gentle start that picks up shortly into the track. It is essentially a really great riff followed by a really great solo. After that we move into a beautiful acoustic section which gentle plays out to the end. It is a really nice song.
Before you know the 25 minutes have passed and the album is finished. To be fair though there is a lot of good stuff crammed in to that short time. King of the Dead, Hate Mantra and Blodspar really stand out as the cream of the crop. I love the little unexpected moments like In I Dimman too which really showcase a band with creative edge. A couple blander tracks aside, Svart is a really solid album from a talented bunch who take bits out of all the genres they are known for to make something different.
Svart is available now over at the official Feared website or on the usual streaming services like iTunes or Spotify. You can also pick up music from Feared at the links below. Find out more about Feared at their website, on Bandcamp, on Twitter or on Facebook. Be sure to give them a like or a follow while you are there.
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Svart by Feared (Ola Englund)
The Final Score - 7.5/10