Sunday 24 March 2013

Fister - Gemini (Album Review)

Gemini cover art

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 19/3/2013
Label : Pissfork Anticulture
Gemini, album tracklisting:
1) Antitheist 8:28
2) Suicide Hessian 4:59
3) III 5:21
4) Gemini 5:31
5) Sinking Estonia 7:40
6) Permanent Chemical Psychosis 9:27
7) Invisible Corpse 5:16
Line up
Kenny Snarzyk - Bass/Vocals
Kirk Gatterer - Drums
Marcus Newstead - Gutars/Vocals

‘Gemini’, Fister’s latest offering weighs in with 46 minutes of monumental heavy as fuck doom. From the off there’s no messing around when it comes to the business of auditory punishment. The production is crisp, crunchy and aggressive. Throat shredding vocal delivery, dark and lingering percussion, ground shaking bass and slicing guitars make for an ultimately claustrophobic and introspective experience.

Their recently repressed epic ‘Violence’ has been one of my favourite records in recent years and ‘Gemini’ takes that winning formula and raises the bar even further. Brutal sludge riffs are juxtaposed against atmospheric ambient drudgery. This record is always moving forward, never missing an opportunity to draw you further into the gloomy haze pouring out of your speakers.
Fister have clearly decided that this record is going to start heavy, end heavy and stay heavy in between. What makes this record truly great is that every single track has it’s own character. Instead of following proven trends the band aren’t afraid to try something new along the way. This is no mean feat and shows the calibre of writing and experience from the band.

Opener ‘Antitheist’ has a warts an’ all beginning to it. Hearing the amplifier roaring between sonic punches reminds you how this record is meant to be played. Go turn your volume up some more. After the first couple of minutes the record is into full swing and you find yourself being buried deeper under the sheer heaviness of riffs.

‘Suicide Hessian’ definitely has that ‘Violence’ vibe, beginning at speed before slowing back into their trademark doom grooves. The vocal performance from half way is bliss. Listening to the tortured spewings flying at me I was reminded of this moment of cinema history. Imagine the moment Alderaan was obliterated by the Death Star. When Obi-Wan said, "I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced." Pretty much sums it up.

‘III’ continues the barrage of the opening two tracks with more slow crushing chord work. This sound is just pure filth. The elongated and wistful droning carries you far into the dark and twisted reality Fister crawled out of. We are mercifully given a chance to relax as the track fades to a close.
Next up comes the eponymous track ‘Gemini’. A rare moment of calm on this release allowing the heaviness of the previous 20 minutes to sink in fully. ‘Gemini’ is erie and ominous with a kind of Mastodon come Electric Wizard vibe. The hazy atmosphere is excellently preserved whilst allowing the listener to change perspective on Fister’s strategy of assault.

‘Sinking Estonia’s pounding drum introduction takes us right back to where we left off. The blackened guitar work brings to mind the band ‘Indian’ with their unrelenting style of crushing sludge. The discordant guitar work just adds to the grim and tortured feel of the whole track. A feeling of imminent disaster bleeds out of this track like a wounded ox. 

‘Permanent Chemical Psychosis’ as the name suggests follows a more stoner doom type groove here.
In no way is this a soundtrack to mellow out. More your last gasps as you curl into a piss-soaked ball of despair. Love that shit. The twisted guitar work towards the end of the track sets up album closer ‘Invisible Corpse’ perfectly.
Bringing together all the elements of the previous 40 minutes of material, ‘Invisible Corpse’ serves as a grim reminder of the carnage you’ve just experienced. The gloomy atmosphere, dark discordant guitar work, pounding drums, tectonic bass movements and hell-spawned vocal delivery. The final lyrics resound long after silence takes them. “No one will mourn me. No one gives a shit. No one will miss me."

Check out ‘Gemini’ if you like your tempo slow and aggression high. Enjoyed best with your choice of overproof liquor.

Words by : Hobo Sapien
As always show your support to the band. You can buy the CD here and DD here.  You can alos buy copies of Violence here.  Thanks to Kenny Snarzyk of Fister for hooking us up with a pre-release copy of the record for review.  Words are not enough to describe how amazing this record is.  Superb!  Now go buy it.  You can read my interview with the band here