Fear My Thoughts
The Great Collapse

Edge of Sanity. Yup, that’s the first band that popped into my head when the opening chords of the tile track rumbled from the speakers. Not the ambient experimental metalcore outfit who blew me away with V.I.T.R.I.O.L, and while a drastic style change such as this might usually disappoint me, Fear My Thoughts actually pull it off. With the expected European metalcore undercurrent that lies somewhere between country mates Heaven Shall Burn, and Caliban, Fear My Thoughts are far more expansive and diverse, and the new sound is far more rooted in melodic death metal, not the In Flames-y twiddlesome type, but a more earthy chunky style that’s snippets of the afore mentioned Edge of Sanity, Hypocrisy and maybe even Amon Amarth. Throw in some rare remnants of their experimental synths and sounds of V.I.T.R.I.O.Land you get one of the few metalcore albums that actually stands out.

The overall sound is somewhat simplified, as the violinist is no longer in the band, the lengthy ambient tracks and string interludes are gone, but replaced with beefier, more straightforward pummeling metal. There are those that will more than likely stuff this band (certainly with reason) into the seething mass of cloned metalcore, but in my lowly opinion, this lot is just a cut above the rest including label mates Heaven Shall Burn and End This Day. Not just by virtue of the new chosen direction of the music (as they had oodles of character on their prior album), Fear My Thoughts just seem slightly less mechanical and cookie cutter, not simply interlacing Gothenburg bounce and US moshability in a paint by numbers style, but rather penning actual songs with real clout that ooze class, while having a comfortable air of familiarity about them so as not to alienate those comfortable with predictable metalcore.

The initial shock of the style shift is washed away by the finely crafted title track, showcasing Mathias Ockl’s new found bellow amid the mix of delicate synths and pounding death metal tinged Eurocore. The same extremely well crafted mix of death metal and metalcore continues for “Rituals” and the deftly melodic “Sirens Singing”, but both with qualities and tempos that just give them some amount of character over the mindless hordes of like minded bands. I can’t quite put my finger on it-they just have “it”. The more progressive side of Fear My Thoughts that arose on the prior album surfaces for “Hollow Inside” with FX, and off kilter keyboards and a killer Tool like break at 1:24, which seems more than just added piecemeal experimentation. The progressive nature is slightly over dramatized for the spoken word break of “The Architect”, but it’s soon obliterated by the rampantly pleasing, if familiarly paced Swedish gallop of “Challenge”, that at 6 minutes is less predictable metalcore, more aesthetic and more rounded than a lot of their stateside peers.

“Mission Immortality” takes slightly clichéd Poison The Well turn at the 2 minute mark, but if your going to copy a band-do it well and copy a good band. The Martyr AD, Premonitions of War lurch of the short n sharp “Norm AD”, shows Fear My Thoughts have some bite, along with some smile inducing blues despite their artistic tendencies. The production is punchy and but not as resonant as the slew of Antfarm (Tue Madsen) produced albums, so it has some character.

With The Great Collapse, Fear My Thoughts have evolved their sound to try to distance themselves from the pack while retaining enough of a popular sound to appeal to metalcore fans. Listen to the great atmospheric break at 3:24 of album closer “Reign” for a prime example of their fine style splitting antics. Lifeforce has had a run of solid if similar releases of late, and Fear my Thoughts stand out from the bunch.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 23rd, 2004


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