Bleeding Fist: Devil’s Ferox

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Bleeding Fist: Devil’s Ferox
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Bleeding Fist: Devil's Ferox
Black Metal, Thrash
Moribund Records
May 3rd, 2011
Release length: 26:09
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Bleeding Fist has been one of those underground acts that really grew quite a lot in a short amount of time. Bestial Kruzifix666ion was a bit of a letdown for their first full-length, but their following EP showed some great progress for the group, though still not the strongest offering in the Black/Thrash Metal field you could find. It seems that every year since their debut 2007 EP has heralded a new offering to the loyal listener, and 2011 was no different. Devil’s Ferox marks the group’s third EP release, but does it show more growth from the group, or is this just another lackluster underground offering?

With a slightly raw audio quality, Bleeding Fist bring four new tracks and a “tribute” song to the mix. The music here has a very faint haziness to it, catering to the somewhat sharper Black Metal guitar distortions that tear away at the listener nicely between the more traditional foundations and Thrash Metal fueled rampages that, for the most part, seem to be transitioned well. The bass makes a good presence here as well, being a bit lighter then what one might hope for while backing the well executed guitars, but with the way the drum kit sounds it still works out. The bass kicks are a loud thud with natural sounding snares pounding away in the mix against crashing cymbols that help to fill the music nicely in it’s higher pitch. The lack of a deeper sound to compliment that pitch is a bit disheartening, but overall it doesn’t really make the album any less enjoyable. Vocally, it does cater to the traditional rhaspier Black Metal performance, and given the creepier atmosphere the band brings with them on this release, the approach works, especially with the additional echo effect used and the choice to put them just a little further in the mix so that the instrument dominate a little more in comparison. This causes the vocals to come through a little more haunting then they would otherwise, enhancing the environment of the EP to the band’s advantage.

Devil’s Ferox really starts out great. “Monuments Desecration” ushers in the oncoming Black/Thrash Metal brutality with a creepy, marching introduction that eventually expands into a more modern Black Metal sound fueled by blastbeats and aggression. Luckily the band doesn’t stick primarily to that approach, offering up some catchier, yet still dark mixtures of the two styles with plenty of unique elements that gradually build up the brutality for the style, as well as the despair-ridden vibe of the album. This is easily one of the more enjoyable songs, largely for it’s more intense brutality then anything, but luckily is not the only track with checking out. “Devil’s Ferox” caters more to the traditional Black Metal sound, but that’s perfectly fine given the band bringing in some early Thrash concepts to the mix at times too that make much of the song headbang worthy. The colder sound of this track works well with the slightly higher pitch and brings a much colder sound to the track. But, this is about where the EP starts to get a little lackluster.

Unfortunately, “Pillars of Black Enlightenment” and “Force the Dead to Confess” are nothing really brag worthy. The first comes off a bit more generic then anything with a slower pace that is only helped out through the atmosphere. The music sounds a little hollow as well thanks to the bass being present, but not deep or loud enough to make that dramatic an impact. This causes an empty sound to follow when the Black Metal heavy guitar work comeas into play to try to push the atmosphere. This is also quite obvious during the solo of the track. And while the latter of those two sounds good at the start, it honestly just doesn’t go anywhere. The song sticks to exactly what it starts with after the guitar fueled introduction, and with that you cannot help but start getting bored of the track rather quickly. The drumming on it can also sound a bit off at times due to the faster pace the band tries to incorporate. Devil’s Ferox closes with the song “Black and Violent”, which is a tribute to Death SS. This song isn’t a cover in title, and since I haven’t heard every Death SS album, I can’t say whether it is a song in their library being covered or inspired by it, but overall the song clearly does seem influenced by the band and caters to that specific sound as well. The track itself is good, but it’s so out of place on the album thanks to it’s clearly more traditional sound with cleaner early Black Metal distortions and Heavy Metal-esque influences. The bass becomes twangy from tuning it down dramatically compared to the rest of the EP in an attempt to get closer to that band’s sound. It’s not a bad song, and it really feeds into the creepier Doom Metal atmosphere Death SS often carries with them, but in the end this track won’t really win over a lot of new fans and will only speak to those who like or are aware of the band they’re paying tribute to.

Devil’s Ferox ends up being one step forward and two steps back. The first two tracks here are fantastic, but the last three are nothing special, though the final may make devoted Death SS cry out with glee more then those who are lost on the band. While it’s great to see them pay homage, this song could easily have been scapped for better quality of the last two original compositions. Bleeding Fist has a good amount of talent, and they showcase that every so often. Unfortunately, they decided to do the best of both worlds here. Devil’s Ferox is an EP that’s worth sampling, but in the long run it’s not one of the best you’ll come across.

01. Monuments Desecration – 5:46
02. Devil’s Ferox – 6:56
03. Pillars of Black Enlightenment – 5:36
04. Force the Dead to Confess – 4:12
05. Black and Violent (Death SS tribute) – 3:40
Overall Score: 5.5/10


Digital review copy of this release provided by Moribund Records.