If you look around the net for Fluwid you, well, will probably not find much about this band aside on-line retailers selling this CD and their myspace page. From Surface to Suffocation is apparently the band’s secondd full-length album, and it’s pretty hard on the ears. It isn’t for the fact that this band is a rip off of early Killswitch Engage material, not the fact that every song is exactly the same structure wise, but more the fact that the recording quality sounds very professional, but in the end sounds insanely tinny.
Let’s tackle the big issue here first: the production. Imagine this entire album was professionally done, but run through a copper pipe or something along those lines. They just about begins to describe the tinny sound this entire recording has. What’s even worse is that some of the chorus vocals have a effect on them that increases the overall tin sound of the entire album. There is honestly no excuse for this kind of production quality since the clean singing on “The Phoenix”, as well as the music on every track sounds professionally recorded, and just seems like someone thought it would be a brilliant idea to filter the entire thing as if it is being played through crappy speakers from the 1980’s.
Aside that, you have the obvious idolworship and pattern going on. The first three songs on From Surface to Suffocation are enough to turn anyone away from the band, as well as this release. While the music is done well and often comes in pretty heavy and fast paced, Fluwid essentially just rips of early Killswitch Engaged material, except during the run of the first vocalist, but sometimes incorporates some of the newer sound into the mix for a good clean singing ratio. These three also follow the same formula of screaming verse, sung chorus, add breakdown where applicable, but typically near the end. The first song to really change things up is “The Phoenix” and it’s got more of an Alternative Rock feel thrown in due to how the clean vocals are perfored, and thanks to the quality of the album, they sound horrible and often off key, but the latter is more the fault of the vocalist and not the recording.
Once you hit “The Phoenix”, things do start to shake up a bit, but not by much. Now, it’s either you have songs that have screamed verses and a clean sung chorus, or just clean sung songs straight through with screaming incorporated once in a while, like the song “Rose Red Lie”, another song set up like “The Phoenix” which has clean singing some screaming done at key spots, as well as the following track “Six Demon Bag” which mixes things up a bit by incorporating singing and screaming in the pre-chorus, as well as the song’s chorus. Aside those positive aspects to the album, once you become adjusted to the filter used, it’s still a pain to listen to, but at least tolerable and doesn’t really alter the more professional recordings hidden in the release. The music itself is very good, and almost every track on here has catchy music that can sometimes be really heavy and make you want to start a mosh where you are, especially with the well done breakdowns, and the vocals aren’t that bad outside of the tracks that are slower and composed mostly of clean singing. If you don’t mind listening to an album that essentially only shares two song structures, then From Surface to Suffocation won’t be too hard a listen for you.
But either way, there’s just too many unexcusable instances that hold this release back, and the quality of the final product leaves a lot to be desired as it would have honestly been enjoyed more with a clear production that didn’t have such an obnoxious filter or poor recording job done to it. The band has some talent, and that’s notable in the faster paced tracks and not so much the mid and slow placed cuts since many of them just use faster or slower generic Metalcore riffs to suit the mood they wanted the song to have. There really isn’t anything too special about this album, but it’s still somewhat enjoyable, and will leave you curious on what the next move for this band will be.