Thursday, May 01, 2014

Review: Arising Fear - Beyond Betrayal

Arising Fear made their first mark with their self-titled EP which was released in 2009, four years after their initial formation. The Germany based foursome received consistently good press for the material, having released three tracks that were a mixture of heavy and thrash metal with hints of metalcore throughout. Now the band have put together their debut LP, Beyond Betrayal, which has been released in the early quarter of 2014 via independent means. Will Arising Fear live up to the high expectations they set from their initial EP?

Genre: Thrash Metal, Heavy Metal, Groove Metal
Label: Self-released/independent
Release Date: March 29th, 2014
  1. Mantic Shape
  2. Beyond the Walls of Anger
  3. Deadly Embrace
  4. Day to Overcome
  5. Losing Sanity
  6. Final Redemption
  7. This Burden
  8. Come Alive Again
  9. Thrashing Brain Surgery
  10. Meltdown Rust
Total Playtime: 47 minutes, 52 seconds




Rating: 6.5/10




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Arising Fear made their first mark with their self-titled EP which was released in 2009, four years after their initial formation. The Germany based foursome received consistently good press for the material, having released three tracks that were a mixture of heavy and thrash metal with hints of metalcore throughout. Now the band have put together their debut LP, Beyond Betrayal, which has been released in the early quarter of 2014 via independent means. Will Arising Fear live up to the high expectations they set from their initial EP?

Beyond Betrayal is something that can only be best described as thrashcore; yes, a brand new genre all on it's own, for better or for worse. It's sufficient to say that the material on this album is what the band unleashed with their original EP as "Meltdown Rust" and "Thrashing Brain Surgery" have been carried over from that release. Among the blandly toned guitars are hurricanes of creative riffs and composition structures that leave the audience guessing as to what may be coming next from track to track. The guitars carry the majority of genre, tempo and mood changes as the abrasive palm-muted triplets bring upon rough, beefy composures and the lighthearted picking sets the metalcore elements into motion. Among the picking and power chords are fast string bridges and pinch harmonics that add a little ear candy here and there between the few lightning fast solos that make their way onto the album.


From it's hardened, gritty style the content has an underlying influence derived from later works of both Metallica and Pantera, though the influence of both is toned down and made watery with the inclusion of metalcore breakdowns, primarily clean singing and anemic growls that fail to do justice to the hearty instruments. Ironically "Thrashing Brain Surgery" is the least thrash inspired track of them all, taking a melodic twist as it ascends through its six plus minutes of air time, in fact not a lot of tracks here have a strong thrash related existence, as they're mostly overcome with metalcore and melodic metal elements. The most contrasting fundamental are the drums, which stand out strong in the background with rapid wrist flicks that make heavy use of the toms and hi-hats, coupled with swift footwork on the bass drum.

Arising Fear are definitely on the right path to creating something new, they just need to refine a few things to actually make it work; I mean come on, they've created an entirely new fucking genre for Satan's sake. While the material heard on Beyond Betrayal is okay, the questions that beg to be asked are do the tracks get your heart pumping? Not really. Do they get your head bobbing? Sometimes. But why not? Well, they've got the songwriting down, but their content lacks any 'umpf'; there's no power behind the guitar distortions or the vocals. The album is a hit and miss adventure that does have some moments and ideas that shine brightly, but others that dwindle to barely a flicker more often than not. The mesh of thrash, melodic and metalcore elements give this release a unique sound and set of compositions unlike any other, but it doesn't create something that's exactly good or bad at this point. The biggest element holding this material back are the vocals, which have little to no defining characteristics and leave little to be desired within their growls when they break away from the melodious clean singing. C'mon guys, just a little more polishing and in the distant future and a hundred emulators later and you're going to be called godfathers of a new era in thrash!

Digital Download Provided by: Metal Message

Reactions:

2 Shouts:

  1. I stumbled into this and I felt compelled to point out one glaring mistake. Thrashcore exists. It's existed for a while now, and it sounds absolutely nothing like this :P

    Might I suggest Vivisick as a starting point.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQbRDdH_mH4

    - Rostheferret (Axis of Metal)

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  2. You say glaring mistake, I say a first experience with a genre I only go into while reviewing. I've had about five people point this out now, but thanks. I'll be honest and say that I do not enjoy any 'core' except grindcore, and I usually only listen to the genre when sent one for review purposes. I've attempted to expand my knowledge of these genres, but I can't hold interest. I will let this rest as a 'noob' review, it's already out there and it has been read. I don't feel inclined to rewrite it.

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