F.K.Ãœ.: 4 – Rise of the Mosh Mongers

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F.K.Ãœ.: 4 – Rise of the Mosh Mongers
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F.K.Ü.: 4 - Rise of the Mosh Mongers
Thrash Metal
Napalm Records
April 9th, 2013
Release length: 43:18
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F.K.Ãœ. has existed for quite some time, though hasn’t always been active. Hailing from Sweden, the band known as Freddy Kreuger’s Underwear formed back in 1987, and at some point went on hiatus. Of course, many of the members went off to work with other groups during this time. Bassist Pat Splat worked with Midas Touch and Lost Souls, guitarist Pete Stooaahl with Valley of the Damned as well as formerly with Lost Souls, and Vocalist Larry Lethal with strong>Darkane amongst many others. They did lose Theo as the drummer, but eventually picked up Dr. Ted Killer Miller, who is currently involved with Wuthering Heights and Loch Vostok. But, in 1998, the band returned to F.K.Ãœ., releasing a demo, two singles, three albums, and a split in the years that followed. With very little going on, more than likely due to the many other obligations, one can’t help but hope each new album is a top-notch experience, especially when fans have waited another four years for their fourth album, 4: Rise of the Mosh Mongers.

Right off the bat, this album presents the listener with a production quality that isn’t all that strong, but does get the job done. The guitars have a mid-range distortion common to the Thrash style that really works best with the mid-paced catchier material than the faster, more abrasive performances. The bass has a deeper twang that can be heard clearly for the most part as well, which helps some of the songs that aren’t too impressive in the first place. The drums honestly sound the best of all the instruments. The bass kicks have a nice subtle click to them that isn’t overpowering at all, and the cymbals are crisp and slightly in the distance. The rest of the kit sounds a little dull, but with a tighter snap when hit, allowing a lower tone similar to the clicks to help enrich the material. The vocals end up the loudest of all, and have a decent range of a harsher style, higher falsettos, and even some gutturals towards the end. All the pieces are there, though sometimes the bite ends up lacking.

It also doesn’t help the music comes off like carbon copies of pre-existing groups. 4: Rise of the Mosh Mongers will have Thrash fans picking up on similarities to Testament and Exodus, but sometimes with a hint of Crossover Thrash attitude and b-movie Horror themes. “Moshocalypse Now” is a nice introductory track, but in no way sets the stage for the sixteen other tracks to come. Instead, it makes you expect some kind of Symphonic Power Metal or Gothic Metal band along the lines of what Napalm Records is commonly associated with. There’s also a slew of short tracks that are simply brief interludes that don’t really need to exist. The only one that really is of any interest is “The Ãœberslasher Pt. 3,” and that’s because it sounds like a very promising song, but only to end rather quickly.

All that aside, the real meat of the album isn’t all that bad. “Rise of the Mosh Mongers” kicks in with a decent falsetto against a faster pace more akin to bands like Municipal Waste in the main verses, while the bridges and chorus take on catchier, somewhat melodic approach. It’s a better introduction of what to expect from the rest of the album, but there are plenty of better songs to be found. “Scream Bloody Mosher” is one of them, having one of the heaviest presences against mid-tempo material that is as full of energy, as it is hooks. The chorus incorporates a little more cleaner harmonization in the vocals that perfectly hit the spot against the largely melodic music. Another is the closing track “Anthem of the Moshoholics,” which really comes out of nowhere. The slower pace throws back to an early Doom/Heavy Metal approach that seems more like a tribute to Ronnie James Dio. It’s truly surprising, and ends up being some of the best, and most memorable material the album has to offer. Towards the end, it leaves that atmosphere behind for a faster Thrash sound once more, and while it’s executed well, it is a little disheartening to see that well executed start end up abandoned.

“Esox Lucius” is a largely different experience all together. The pace hammers away quickly as the bass kicks really shine through the adrenaline-soaked performance. The vocals here don’t quite match the chaotic music, especially in the chorus when the melodic elements seem to be forced in more than appear natural to the flow. “At the Mountains of Madness” has a nice H.P. Lovecraft nod going on, and the music isn’t too bad either, though still nothing too unique. It ends up being a simple track focusing on catchier material you would swear was lifted straight off a Testament album. And then there’s “Marz Attacks,” which boasts a nice mixture of faster, aggressive music, shifting into slower to mid-pace material that is simply catchy and worth at least bobbing your head along to.

4: Rise of the Mosh Mongers is an album that die-hard Thrash fans may not get too much enjoyment out of in this day and age. This is due to the production quality being a little less than flattering, and the fact that a lot of this has already been done, and done better. It’s clear F.K.Ãœ. want to have some fun, and that’s a trait this album shows off quite well. While this isn’t a bad recording, it easily is one that, had it been released even twenty years ago, it would have been a different story. Instead, we’re given some catchy material that doesn’t make much of an impact, but, for as typical as it is, there’s still some good material to be found.

01. Moshocalypse Now – 2:30
02. Rise of the Mosh Mongers – 3:15
03. Black Hole Hell – 3:25
04. Cannibal Detox – 2:51
05. The Ãœberslasher Pt. 1 – 0:12
06. Scream Bloody Mosher – 3:20
07. Esox Lucius – 2:01
08. The Ãœberslasher Pt. 2 – 0:10
09. At the Mountains of Madness – 3:59
10. A Nightmare Made Thrash – 3:27
11. 112 Ocean Avenue – 3:07
12. The Ãœberslasher Pt. 3 – 0:28
13. Marz Attacks – 3:19
14. Terror Train – 3:47
15. The Ãœberslasher Pt. 4 – 0:36
16. They Feed in the Dark – 2:39
17. Anthem of the Moshoholics – 4:12
Initial Pressing Score: 6.5/10

F.K.Ü. (band)
F.K.Ü.

Digital review copy of this release provided by Napalm Records.