Saturday 25 April 2015

Fulgora - ‘Stratagem’ (Album Review)

Album Type: Full-Length
Date Released: 24/03/2015
Label: Housecore Records

‘Stratagem’ CD//LP//DD track listing:

1. Source
2. Splinter
3. Risen
4. Artifice
5. Design
6. Crutch
7. Meridian

Fulgora is:

B. L. LaMew | Guitar, Vocals
John Jarvis | Bass
Adam Jarvis | Drums
Sparky Voyles | Guitar (live)


Fulgora is likely to get some extra ears and eyeballs even before anyone hears it, with Adam and John Jarvis of Pig Destroyer being the rhythm section of the band, even if Fulgora is pretty different from Pig Destroyer musically. In reality, aside from sharing a bassist and drummer, the only connections Fulgora and Pig Destroyer share are being thoroughly pissed off and being flush with savage riffs.  ‘Stratagem’ has a considerable hardcore influence, most strongly represented in guitarist/vocalist B.L. LaMew’s throat-grating shout. Musically, Fulgora are a frenzied blend of grind, death metal and hardcore, splicing the musical DNA of Nostromo, Napalm Death and Cryptopsy circa ‘Whisper Supremacy’. With ‘Stratagem’ clocking in at nineteen minutes, Fulgora don’t waste any time. While this is listed as a full length, it’s only a full length in the way that Assück’s ‘Misery Index’ is considered a full length.

The short run time might be to Fulgora’s advantage, as there’s a lot to take in, even in such a short period of time. Taking ‘Artifice’ as an example for the whole album, you’ll hear a mixture of convulsive drums and guitar bends, blistering grindcore blasts, hacking palm muted guitar riffs and even more besides. There are brief doses of atmosphere and melody to serve as reprieve here and there, but otherwise you’re largely in for variations on similar musical themes over the the 7 tracks on offer.

What Fulgora do, they do as well as anyone going right now, but I’d be dishonest if I didn’t admit that I’m hoping for a bit more variety from future releases. Whether that comes in the form of wider variation in tempo, or expanding the different emotional tones the guitars work with, or maybe trying some different vocal techniques would do the trick, though traditional singing would likely be a bad fit. ‘Stratagem’ is an excellent foundation to build from though, make no mistake about it.

Words by: Daniel Jackson

You can pick up a digital copy here and a CD/LP copy here

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