Friday 3 April 2015

Fister - 'IV' (Album Review)

Album Type: Full Length
 Date Released: 31/3/2015
Label: Crown and Throne LTD

“IV” CD//DD//LP Tracklisting:
1. IV


St. Louis Sludge merchants are sonically ruining lives again! Outside of the recent split with Primitive Man and Gemini (my personal favorite) this is some of the heaviest material to date from this 3 piece outfit.

From the second this album begins, the sludgefest takes hold and never lets you out of its vile grip. Bellowing throaty vocals rip through the plodding riffs, creating such an exquisite uneasiness. The heaviness of the album really starts sinking in around the 4 min mark with the riff really being driven with necessary repetition, and then any hope within you is ripped away in the next section. Sustained notes turning to slight feedback as screams cut through reaching deeper. Drums and guitars attack with great force, then leaving you hanging to freefall back into building feedback, then flows into a clean break that gives the listener a moment to catch their breath. At 8:27 you lose that breath with an incredibly weighty riff that absolutely punishes your spirit. Now crushed and crippled, you are given moments to ponder with a section of heavy ass atmospheric tension. Sinking and sinking deeper into a sonic depravity, just when you think things couldn’t get any heavier, slower or sludgier, they prove you wrong, so wrong!

This is the kind of music that makes other bands want to just hang it up and quit, it just doesn’t get much better than this! Fister is a band that really knows how to drive a riff home with you, and it not be boring or obnoxious, and for me, fall within the realms of a band like Melvins who are kings of driving a riff home. Just before the 22 min mark, a primal darkness takes hold, like a demonic hymn. Grief, pure hatred and musical dominance are all pressed tightly together for the remainder of the album with massive walls of sludge. Blackness seeps from every riff, light is dimmed with every hit of the toms and all hope banished with every breath wretchedly spoken. The last section of ‘IV’ is like a heavy yet atmospheric moment of reflection of everything that has transpired in the last 40 mins. Filled with reverb and clean guitar strumming, reminiscent of Old Man Gloom, then bleeding into a slow distorted version, but still carrying the same feeling. I can’t gush enough about this album or how it closes out, but it is perfection!

The sheer craftsmanship from all 3 within this band is obvious and they are creating some of the best doom out there these days. Proving that they are doing just what they want to do, and how they want to do it, these guys are writing a new chapter for doom and sludge all on their own.

Words by: Eric Crowe

‘IV’ is available on vinyl here and DD here